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Alan Cumming blames Brexit on 'stupid English people'

The actor has apologised for any 'offence' caused by the comments

Olivia Blair
Monday 25 July 2016 12:25 BST
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Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming (Getty)

Alan Cumming has blamed the UK’s decision to leave the European Union on “stupid English people”.

The Good Wife actor said he was “appalled” upon learning Britain had voted by 52 per cent to leave the EU in a historic referendum last month.

“I was appalled when I heard the result,” he told the Scottish national newspaper The Herald. “And I have three words to sum it up: Stupid. English. People.

“But you could see it coming. I did an interview for STV news a couple of years ago and I said there would be a referendum on the EU and Britain would vote to leave but Scotland would want to stay,” he said.

The comments prompted criticism from some on social media including from the comedian Matt Forde. The former Labour MP Tom Harris, who led the Scottish Vote Leave campaign, also told the Daily Express: "If the English were stupid to vote for Leave then what does that make the one million Scots who voted Leave?"

On Sunday, Cumming addressed his comments in a tweet to his 263,000 followers, and apologised for any offence caused.

Cumming was born in and grew up in Perthshire, Scotland but gained American citizenship in 2008 after living in New York for a number of years. He was an impassioned supporter of the ‘Yes’ campaign during the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and says it is now ironic one argument for Scotland remaining part of the UK was so it could stay in the EU.

Christoph Waltz on Brexit

“I also said we’d have another (independence) referendum. Now, I hope that people will see the irony in that one of the major reasons the Yes vote didn’t win was people were scared we wouldn’t be allowed in the EU if we were independent. And now we’re not allowed to be in the EU because we’re part of Britain.

“How many times do we have to be slapped in the face by Westminster?” he asked.

The actor left Scotland for London in the 1980s but also told the newspaper he is treated better in New York for being Scottish than he found he was in the UK capital.

“What is interesting here is people like you because you are Scottish. They like the way you sound, what you have to say,” he said. “When I first came to New York I realised a lot of things I was being lauded for was the kind fo things I was being put down for in London, which is essentially being Scottish.

“The Americans just don’t talk about your Scottishness in a derogatory way as they do in London,” he claimed.

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