British Brexit Party MEPs have turned their backs on the EU anthem, as they took their seats in the new European Parliament.
Nigel Farage's party staged their demonstration as Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was played in the Strasbourg chamber on Tuesday morning.
At May's European Parliament elections, the Brexit Party topped the polls in the UK to have 29 MEPs elected.
The Liberal Democrats came second, with some of their newly-elected 16 MEPs wearing "B******s to Brexit" t-shirts at the opening session of the new parliament.
In Strasbourg at the opening session of the European Parliament! I’m here to represent Londoners and work with my fellow @LibDems to #StopBrexit - because the UK must lead not leave the EU. #BollocksToBrexit pic.twitter.com/bn2F8xyvKM
— Luisa Porritt (@LuisaPorritt) July 2, 2019
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage claimed the party "has already made its presence felt".
The Brexit Party has already made its presence felt. https://t.co/cyHyYsG6y4
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) July 2, 2019
Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly said it was a "portent of things to come".
New @Europarl_EN 1st. formal sitting taking place now with the playing of European Anthem. Some - not many - far right members refuse to stand for it’s playing !! Portent of things to come !! @FineGael @EPPGroup @Junomaco pic.twitter.com/XBqfocep3H
— Seán Kelly MEP (@SeanKellyMEP) July 2, 2019
While UK Labour MP David Lammy said: "This is petty, small minded little England at its worst.
"These plonkers do a proud and open nation a disservice. Shame on them."
Brexit Party MEPs turning their backs on Europe, as they do their best to isolate the UK from the world. This is petty, small minded little England at its worst. These plonkers do a proud and open nation a disservice. Shame on them. pic.twitter.com/Lbg1b9Gcbg
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) July 2, 2019
Prior to a musical quartet performing the piece, the European Parliament's outgoing president Antonio Tajani had asked MEPs to show "respect" by standing for the anthem.
He said: "Rising to your feet is a question of respect - it doesn't mean that you necessarily share the views of the EU.
"If you listen to the anthem of another country you rise to your feet."
— Philip Sime (@PhilipSime) July 2, 2019
MEP for London, Seb Dance said: "UKIP did exactly the same five years ago: turned their backs on the young musicians of the Strasbourg Philharmonic.
"The Brexit Party is just the same old embarrassing waste of space as UKIP."
UKIP did exactly the same five years ago: turned their backs on the young musicians of the Strasbourg Philharmonic.
The Brexit Party is just the same old embarrassing waste of space as UKIP. 🚮 https://t.co/kUM5yoAwJM
— Seb Dance 🌹🇪🇺 (@SebDance) July 2, 2019
Journalist Peter Walker remarked: "If some overseas football fans did that to the English national anthem before a match, my guess is many of those same Brexit Party MEPs would be puce and apoplectic at the perceived lack of respect."
If some overseas football fans did that to the English national anthem before a match, my guess is many of those same Brexit Party MEPs would be puce and apoplectic at the perceived lack of respect. https://t.co/O4OITKFd2z
— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) July 2, 2019
Later in the session, Mr Tajani criticised Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips for waving a Union flag, when she was chosen as a teller for the ballot to elect his successor.
Mr Tajani told her: "You've been asked to act as a teller madam, not to help with football supporting."
Additional reporting: IRN