Lee Anderson mocked for mistake in bizarre St George’s Day post

Reform MP Lee Anderson has raised eyebrows with a new video about St George’s Day, which he posted on social media with a bizarre warning to fans of “advacado” and supporters of the Palestinian cause.

The MP for Ashfield, who recently joined Reform UK after being suspended from the Tory party over racist remarks about London mayor Sadiq Khan, marked the annual feast day with a post showing off a pair of cufflinks bearing the St George’s Cross.

“Look at these here, the flag of St George,” Rishi Sunak’s former Tory deputy chair told viewers, pointing to his cufflinks.

“It’s St George’s Day today and this country of ours has been a gift to the world. Look at the industrial revolution, culture, arts, music, sport – everywhere you look on this planet, you see some of that. Oh, by the way, happy birthday William Shakespeare.”

In a caption for the post, he wrote: “Trigger Warning. If you are a Guardian reading, advacado eating, Palestinian flag waving, Eddie Izzard supporting Vegan then this clip is probably not for your consumption.”

His remarks drew amusement from on X/Twitter, where critics picked up on his misspelling of the word “avocado”, and noted the connection between Palestine and St George, who is celebrated not just in England, but in parts of Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and South America.

Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi wrote: “Who is going to tell him about St George’s connection to Palestine? (His mother was Palestinian, they too have a St George’s day/feast. Though, to be fair, it is not known if he was related to Eddie Izzard).”

While Mr Anderson’s reference to Izzard is unclear, Mr Anderson has previously been criticised for “vile” remarks about the transgender actor and Labour candidate.

Reform MP Lee Anderson has revealed he will not be campaigning in certain Tory constituencies due to his friendships with the current MPs (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Reform MP Lee Anderson has revealed he will not be campaigning in certain Tory constituencies due to his friendships with the current MPs (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In a reference to Mr Anderson’s past claims about food banks, which have earned him the nickname “30p Lee” in some quarters, podcaster Marina Purkiss joked: “What is an advacado and can I buy one for 30p?”

And author Nick Tyrone wrote: “The greatest thing about Lee Anderson is the way in which he is a perfect parody of himself. There is no way any comedian could come close to replicating his work here.”

Mr Anderson featured in a separate clip posted by Reform UK against the backdrop of a large England flag, in which he said: “Hello everyone, happy St George’s Day. Look at this behind me – I’m a proud Englishman, I’m proud to be British as well.

“But are you fed up with people dissing our history, our heritage, our culture? I am. Love the flag, please share it.”

The party’s leader Richard Tice also posted a clip from London’s Regent Street claiming the “political elite” are “ashamed of our flag”, vowing that “Reform UK would ensure every city in the country is encouraged to fly our great flag on St. George’s Day”.

Prior to becoming deputy chair of the Conservatives, Mr Anderson had suggested the Tory party would have to fight the next election on “culture war” issues – as it could no longer rely on Brexit or Jeremy Corbyn as vote-winners.

“The big thing in terms of 2019, there were three things that won us the election,” the former Labour councillor told the conservative New Culture Forum last year.

“It was nothing to do with me, it was Brexit, it was Boris, it was Corbyn and it was as simple as that. Those three things together were a great campaign – great ingredients,” he said, adding: “At the next election we haven’t got those three things so we’ll have to think of something else.

“It’ll probably be a mix of culture wars and trans debate.”

Polling by Ipsos and King’s College London suggested in November that the majority of British voters felt politicians were using culture wars to distract from other “important” issues.

Nearly two thirds of the 3,716 people polled said politicians “invent or exaggerate” culture wars as a political tactic – but just one in 10 felt politicians who talked about divisions over cultural issues genuinely believe it is an important topic.