David Cameron: “Britain may be a small island but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience”
Cameron’s tribute to ‘small island’
Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a rousing defence of Britain to journalists at the G20 summit in St Petersburg after a Russian official described it as “just a small island”.
He included references to clearing “the European continent of fascism”, helping to “abolish slavery”, inventing “every sport currently played”, The Beatles, Shakespeare and boy band One Direction.
Here is a selection of reaction from newspapers to Mr Cameron’s tribute:
George Parker and Elizabeth Rigby, writing in the Financial Times, said Mr Cameron had “struck back in lyrical fashion”, delivering “an elegiac hymn”.
“Although Mr Cameron noted that the remark had been categorically denied by the Kremlin, it did not stop him embarking on a Churchillian rhetorical mission to restore the country’s international reputation – to the delight of his MPs back home,” they said.
The PM appeared on One Direction’s Comic Relief video One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)
They added: “Mr Cameron admitted his speech could be set to music and bloggers quickly obliged by adding a soundtrack of Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory to the prime minister’s patriotic speech.”
The Daily Mirror said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “found out just how much punch a small island can pack when David Cameron laid into him over his arrogant jibe”.
It praised the British PM for launching “a passionate speech about Britain’s fantastic achievements through the centuries” and said the One Direction reference “even proved to the Russian president that we have the biggest sense of humour across the globe”.