The December 21 ballot might backfire on the Spanish Prime Minister.
The Spanish suggestion of naming a new Royal Research Ship after a Spanish admiral, Blas de Lezo—who bested the Royal Navy at Cartagena de las Indias in 1741—has been deleted from the website, a spokeswoman for the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) confirmed to The Spain Report.
She said: “We will remove or reject any name suggestion that we deem liable to cause offence”.
The Spanish name, which had received more than 38,000 votes, was removed from the list on Tuesday morning. The Spain Report understands it will not be allowed if suggested again.
NERC declined to comment on the possible foreign relations implications of their decision to delete Admiral de Lezo from the list.
Enterprising Spaniards had suggested the new ship be named after the well known Spanish admiral, describing him, tongue in cheek, as "one of the best sailors in the world and made great contributions to the British undersea research".
He sank dozens of English warships and transport ships during the siege of Cartagena de las Indias in 1741.