Michael Gove has mocked Stormzy for expressing his support for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn in the forthcoming election.
Gove told Talk Radio: “I think we again know that Stormzy, when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest, he made clear what his political views were then.”
During his headline set at the 2019 festival, Stormzy wore a stab vest painted with a monochrome Union Jack. The garment was customised by Banksy and hailed as “a perfect image of our moment” by the Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones. “Stormzy’s tense and provocative stage-garb exploited the flag’s visual strength in a new way. Amid all the stage razzmatazz, he wore the banner of a divided and frightened nation.”
Gove added: “He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”
Labour’s Angela Rayner tweeted: “And Michael Gove is crap at both”, adding a winking emoji. Gove responded: “I set trends dem man copy.”
In a long note posted to Twitter on Monday, Stormzy urged fans to register to vote and said that he would be voting for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.
“In my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be,” he wrote. “And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most.”
Stormzy criticised Boris Johnson’s “long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering”.
He continued: “I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a ‘bunch of black kids’ makes him ‘turn a hair’, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to black people as ‘piccaninnies’ with ‘watermelon smiles’. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country.”
In a letter to the Guardian, Stormzy also joined a number of other performers – including Akala, Lowkey, Saskilla, Sharkey Major and Charlie Sloth – in saying they would be voting Labour on 12 December.
Labour’s David Lammy accused the Tory minister of “sanctioning crass stereotypes” by “telling an intelligent, successful young black man to stay out of politics”. The Tottenham MP added: “Challenge stereotypes, don’t compound them.”