John Lydon

It was supposed to be a year-long celebration of the UK’s punk heritage, but king of punk John Lydon has vowed to snub the “sissy” Boris Johnson-backed Punk London festival.

The outspoken singer, whose anarchic band The Sex Pistols is credited with launching Britain’s punk movement in 1976, has slammed the lottery-funded event for misrepresenting the punk movement that he lead.

The festival, held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sex Pistols’ influential album Never Mind The Bollocks, has been described by organisers as a celebration of punk “in all its ragged glory”.

But punk icon Lydon is not impressed, dismissing the year-long programme of gigs, exhibitions and films being held across the capital with support from the British Fashion Council, British Film Institute and British Library, as “something really silly”.

He is equally scathing in his response to the event’s championing by former London Mayor Boris Johnson, saying that the foreign secretary’s involvement “creeped the high-hell out of me”.

In a candid interview in this month’s CALIBRE Quarterly magazine, Lydon, who now lives in Los Angeles, said: “What does it need an anniversary for? For God’s sake where do they come from? That’s very, very too much self-importance.

“I was told, somehow, that Boris Johnson was involving himself… which creeped the high-hell out of me.

“Well, I’m sure I’m going to fly back for that! Hahaha. It sounds very special.

“It’s the trouble with punk though – it’s the outskirts, the fringes that hold on to us and which seem to have grabbed most of the limelight and turned it into something really silly, and sissy and weak and unresolved and petulant.

“It’s not like that at all, this is a do-it-yourself culture.”