Aidan Burley caused a storm on Twitter when he made the comment on Twitter after the main show element of the ceremony came to a close as the athletes' parade began:
"Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multicultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!" he wrote.
The tweet during the ceremony on Friday night came as one of a series of negative postings, including another reading: "The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen - more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?"
Burley, who was recently forced to resign from a ministerial post after being photographed at a stag do where his fellow revellers wore Nazi uniforms and performed Nazi salutes, insisted that he was misunderstood, with everyone from Stan Collymore to Prime Minister David Cameron critical of his comments.
"We do not agree with him," a senior source at Downing Street told PA, while Collymore - who hails from the Cannock area for which Burley is the MP - wrote "I'll happily stand against you at the next election. You have no clue about our town or its people."
Burley quickly tried to backtrack: "Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself."
In a subsequent interview with the BBC he dug himself even further, insisting that he hadn't tried to be negative about multiculturalism: "I was having a go at the rather trite way, frankly, it was represented in the opening ceremony."
- Politics & Government
- Aidan Burley