Skegness Town Council has said it is saddened that the Jolly Fisherman has been “exploited in a negative way” by a pro-EU newspaper.
The New European’s front page depicts the much loved town mascot as a sweary Brexiteer in a ‘go-away’ jumper, making a rude gesture and alongside the caption ‘Skegness is so Brexit’.
The image was emailed out to the media on Wednesday afternoon with a note saying it was an “opportunity to stir up controversy locally” because the cover and article were “unlikely to go down well”.
The Boston and Skegness constituency was the most leave leaning in the UK, with 75% of the population voting to leave the EU.
Speaking on behalf of Skegness Town Council, Town Clerk Steve Larner said: “It’s sad to see the image of The Jolly Fisherman exploited in such a negative way.
“Residents and visitors will testify that Jolly will welcome anyone to Skegness.
“Last week Skegness was open for business and was filled with visitors, all of which received a warm Skegness welcome.”
Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman was also unimpressed with the front page, claiming it was not satire.
He said: “It simply perpetuates the ignorant, grotesque idea that everyone who voted to leave the EU didn’t understand the issues at stake and is only interested in themselves.
“That’s offensive enough but for the national interest it’s also a daft way to think that the country can move forward.
“We are all leaving the European Union, and we now need to work together to understand what has happened across the country over previous months and decades and to get the best possible deal for the UK, rather than campaign to try and stop it and thereby undermine democracy itself.
“I will be writing a response to the piece and I will be expecting the New European to publish it in full next week.”