Boris Johnson pressing ahead with Theresa May's 'Brexit festival' plan

George Martin
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London. (PA)

Boris Johnson’s government is still planning on holding the controversial post-Brexit festival of Britain proposed by Theresa May.

According to The Guardian, Dean Creamer, a delivery director for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, has been put in charge of delivering the event - despite many MPs raising objections.

A Freedom of Information request sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by the newspaper revealed the DCMS had established a festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2022 programme board.

The FOI also revealed the board was said to be “meeting regularly”, with representatives from the Treasury and Cabinet Office involved.

Former prime minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a statement on his new Brexit deal.
The idea was first proposed by Theresa May. (PA)

A senior figure in the culture sector reportedly said: “Nothing has really flowed to the institutions who might be interested in it.

“There is infrastructure in place but everyone is waiting until the general election to see what happens next.”

“We expect that there would be a major effort to make it a consciously national and non-metropolitan endeavour.”


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Announcing the festival last year, Theresa May said it would strengthen "our precious Union".

Her plans were intended to echo the Festival of Britain in 1951, designed to promote optimism and confidence in the future after the Second World War.

The former Prime Minister said the event would come at a moment of “national renewal” as the nation seeks to establish itself outside the European Union

Preparations for the festival were projected to cost around £120m when the plans were first announced last year.

But one person in the museum sector warned that Remainers could be put off the arts by the event.

“A lot of museums are quite wary of the whole thing.” they said.

“There’s also a sense that if it is a festival of Brexit then it turns into an ethical issue. Half of the audiences would be completely hostile to Brexit.”

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