UPDATE: National paper’s response to criticism over ‘offensive’ Jolly Fisherman front

The New European front page.
The New European front page.

The editor of a national newspaper depicting Skegness’ Jolly Fisherman swearing and wearing a jumper with the line ‘GO AWAY’ has respnded to criticism.

It has been argued ‘many will be hurt and offended’ by the image on the front page of on the pro-Remain paper The New European which hits the newsstands tomorrow.

The headline reads ‘Skegness is So Brexit’ - a play on the famous ‘So Bracing’ slogan synonymous with the resort.

The strap-line beneath says ‘Anthony Clavane visits the seaside to see if they still love Leave’.

However Matt Kelly, editor, told the Standard: “I hope more people will be broad-shouldered enough to laugh at us poking fun at one of the most iconic images of British poster design.

“And naturally I’d encourage people to buy the paper and read what is actually a brilliant and well-considered read about how people in Skegness think about Brexit nine months after the vote.

Both residents and visitors will testify that Jolly welcomes everyone to Skegness and many will be hurt and offended by this use of their much loved, iconic Jolly Fisherman.

Skegness Town Council clerk Steve Larner

“As many on twitter will testify, The New European makes an excellent cat litter tray lining if you disagree with its contents.”

It was in fact neighbouring Boston which was dubbed by many as the ‘Brexit Capital of the UK’ - with the highest leave vote of anywhere, some 75.6 per cent.

In East Lindsey, 70.7 per cent voted for Brexit.

The New European was launched following the EU Referendum, with the strap-line ‘The New Pop-up Paper for the 48%’ - a reference to those who voted remain at the polls.

Editor Matt Kelly took to Twitter to share the front front page, stating: “We’re off to Skeggie for our Easter weekend - out tomorrow nationwide.”

The front page has drawn criticism from Skegness Town Council, which own the rights to the Jolly Fisherman.

Clerk Steve Larner said: “It is very sad to see the image of the Jolly Fisherman being exploited in such a negative way. Both residents and visitors will testify that Jolly welcomes everyone to Skegness and many will be hurt and offended by this use of their much loved, iconic Jolly Fisherman.“

East Lindsey District Council declined to comment due to being in a period of purdah as a result of the county council elections in May.