London mayor Ken Livingstone has hit back at campaigners who claim he is unfairly supporting St Patrick's Day over celebrations of England's own St George's Day.
He has refused to bow to pressure from campaigners including the Publican and Bedford brewer Charles Wells because he says he "does not agree" with calls for more widespread support of nest Tuesday's event (April 23).
In a letter to the brewer, Mr Livingstone argued that one of the reasons why he had given St George's Day the thumbs down was because "many other cultures also contribute" to English society.
He added: "That is why I have responded positively to requests by London communities to support a number of festivals that allow all Londoners to celebrate the diversity of our city's cultures, for example Chinese New Year, the Notting Hill Carnival, St Patrick's Day and others."
Spokeswoman for Charles Wells, Sarah McGhie said: "It's a real shame that Ken Livingstone doesn't share the same enthusiasm for St George's Day as many others do but we'll carry on regardless."
We asked: Are you planning to hold St George's Day celebrations in your pub? This is how you voted:
April 23 is St George's Day, but unlike our Irish neighbours the English will barely raise a glass for their patron saint. We report.
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Trade calls for St George's Day celebration (28 March 2002)