OPINIONS are split among Argus readers as to whether Boris Johnson was wrong to laugh at calls for a Sussex town to become a city.

The Prime Minister was accused by a local councillor of having "contempt" for Crawley after he was seen giggling in the House of Commons.

An Argus poll found 54 per cent of readers believed that Mr Johnson was wrong to laugh at the town’s bid to become a city.

The remaining 46 per cent of the 136 voters said they believe he was right to laugh.

The Argus: Poll among Argus readers over whether Boris Johnson was wrong to laugh at Crawley city bid Poll among Argus readers over whether Boris Johnson was wrong to laugh at Crawley city bid

Labour Leader of Crawley Borough Council Peter Lamb hit back following the Prime Minister's actions, writing on Twitter: “At least we can now openly see the Prime Minister's contempt for us,” the Northgate and West Green councillor said.

“As if that wasn't clear from his levelling down the funding for our town in favour of newly won northern constituencies.”

Crawley, which has been a town for 75 years, is celebrating the milestone anniversary by bidding to be named a city.

The bid is being backed by Henry Smith, the town's Conservative MP, who raised the matter at Prime Minister's Questions.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he asked the Prime Minister to “look favourably” on the town's attempt to become a city.

Mr Smith said the Crawley constituency was “one of the most negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“But thanks to significant support from this government, we are seeing recovery, unemployment now beginning to come down and we look to a confident future,” he said.

“In that vein, will my right honourable friend look favourably on Crawley’s platinum jubilee city status bid.”

However, Mr Johnson giggled throughout his response, in which he admitted he was unaware at the town’s bid.

“I wasn’t aware until today that Crawley was bidding to become a city,” Mr Johnson said. “But I will look at it very carefully.

“And I’m sure there is an excellent case in there somewhere.”

Crawley has entered the civic honours competition, part of the Queen's platinum jubilee celebrations, which will bestow city status on towns in the UK.

It aims to provide towns with the chance to showcase civic pride with the town's heritage and a record of innovation.

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council previously said: "A bid for city status would certainly raise Crawley's profile, enhancing its reputation and ensuring it is a place that is recognised, helping to put Crawley on the map.

"Given the significant economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our town, which is well documented and evidenced, securing city status will bring with it prestige, standing and an opportunity to lever investment to aid our recovery.

"Studies suggest that a successful bid for city status could bring further investment and employment opportunities."

The government will announce the winners of the competition in early 2022.