UK Politics

David Cameron attacks 'idiotic' criticism from Aidan Burley MP

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Media captionDavid Cameron: ''It was an idiotic thing to say''

David Cameron has attacked critics of the Olympics Games opening ceremony - including one of his own MPs - saying the extravaganza was "brilliant".

The prime minister praised Friday's event for reflecting Britain's history and contemporary culture, adding that it was "not about politics".

Tory MP Aidan Burley described the event as "leftie multicultural" rubbish but he claimed he was misunderstood.

On a visit to the Olympic Park, the PM said such comments were "idiotic".

Friday's three-hour ceremony, put together by film director Danny Boyle, featured references to the industrial revolution, the suffragettes and the NHS as well as the UK's diverse musical heritage - ranging from rapper Dizzee Rascal to the Arctic Monkeys.

'Global capital'

But Mr Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, criticised the representation of the UK, saying it was "most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen" and tweeting at one point "bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!"

The MP subsequently insisted he was not criticising multiculturalism itself but commenting on the "trite way" it was represented during the event.

But Mr Cameron said "what he said was completely wrong. I think an idiotic thing to say".

Asked about the £27m ceremony, Mr Cameron told the BBC News Channel that there were aspects of British life that people would have liked included that were absent but "we can't all be art director".

"I thought that it was a brilliant effort to bring together our past, our future and the vibrancy of our country," he added.

When he was first shown the images of James Bond actor Daniel Craig meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace and then appearing to parachute down into the stadium, Mr Cameron said it brought a "tear to his eye".

"It was every bit as good in its execution as it was in its creation."

He added: "It is not about politics. We all celebrate the NHS. We all think James Bond is fantastic. We all revere the Queen."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has defended the event from claims that it was overtly political, saying it confirmed London's status as the "global capital of art and culture".

"James Bond and the Monarchy - not to mention The Eton Boating Song… How can anyone call that lefty propaganda," he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

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Media captionHighlights of the London Olympics opening ceremony

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