Cornish people are "not precious" about their identity claims English Democrat.
CORNISH nationalism is "dead" – according to an English nationalist leader.
Robin Tilbrook, chairman of the English Democrat party, which is campaigning for England to become independent of the UK and EU, based his claim on the latest census figures.
He said it showed people did not take the opportunity to declare themselves as Cornish.
Mr Tilbrook told the West Briton from his home in Essex: "The census figures show that not many people are precious about declaring themselves as Cornish. There's at least five times more people for English nationalism than Cornish.
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"People feel a part of being Cornish but they do not identify Cornwall as a national identity."
But Cornwall councillor for Truro Boscawen Bert Biscoe said Cornish people were "secure in their identity" with strong culture and generally liberal views.
Councillor Biscoe said: "It's amazing how many experts it takes to tell us who we are and what we're not – and very sad that others can only find time to be negative and excluding in their expressions.
"In the 2011 Census, 73,200, or 14 per cent of the total population, stated that they have Cornish national identity.
"There was no specific tick-box category for Cornish in either the ethnic group or in the national identity questions in the 2011 Census, however, as in the 2001 Census, there were write-in options that provided the opportunity for people to describe themselves as Cor-nish, if they wished to do so."
However Mr Tilbrook argued Cornish people would be better off backing a campaign for English independence than calling for an assembly for Cornwall.
But Cornwall councillor for Wendron Loveday Jenkin said: "Most Cornish people define themselves as Cornish and British but not English and many non-Cornish people living in Cornwall would recognise Cornwall as a land apart, a duchy and a distinct region, if not a nation.
"A significant number of people have voted for Mebyon Kernow and more than 50,000 have called for Cornwall to have its own assembly to run its own affairs.
"The recent census figures relate to those who were prepared to write in Cornish in the 'other' line on the form.
"Although the number of people of Cornish descent may be declining in Cornwall, Cornish nationalism is not just about being proud to be Cornish but about recognising that Cornwall is a distinct place with its own culture, identity and needs."