Hong Kong’s leader revealed he was late for a key luncheon in London because he stopped to admire the sight of the Chinese national flag hung along The Mall ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a gathering of British business leaders on Friday that he kept them waiting not because he “set off late” but because he wanted to admire the patriotic sight. READ MORE: CY Leung says Hong Kong's success hinges on rule of law “What was happening was this: the three cars that were carrying myself and my colleagues were running along The Mall. Suddenly I saw something and I asked the driver to stop,” he said. “Our country’s flags were brilliantly displayed along the mall in preparation for the president’s visit to the United Kingdom which I’m sure will be highly successful.” Leung joked he was “disappointed” by the fact none of his colleagues, who all got out of the car, ran towards him “to find out what was happening to the chief executive”. Instead each “had a camera in their hands for the flags”. Leung’s remarks sparked sarcastic comments from internet users, with some saying they had never heard of such an excuses for being late and others accusing Leung of being “a toady”. In a post on his official blog yesterday, Leung again alluded to the incident, describing the scene as “solemn” and “colourful”. He mentioned that his colleagues got out of the car, but did not mention the fact he was late for lunch, nor that it was he who asked the driver to stop the car. READ MORE: Britain pulls out all the stops for Xi's visit Leung spent two days in Britain, holding talks with government ministers. Xi arrives in London today for a four-day visit as Britain seeks to build ties with Beijing and attract investment. He will hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, visit top soccer club Manchester City and, according to British media reports, stop off for a portion of traditional fish and chips.