Morrissey, the former frontman of The Smiths, has revealed the he believes Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage would be a perfect candidate for prime minister.
Morrissey, who has faced heavy criticism in recent months amid his controversial political stance, conducted an interview with photographer Sam Esty Rayne back in April but has only just released the transcript.
In the interview, Morrissey clarified that he has never supported UKIP—a party that Farage has twice fronted—but did offer his opinion that the Farage would be ideal for the top job in number 10: “It’s obvious that he would make a good prime minister,” Morrissey claimed.
Photographer Rayne then asked Morrissey for his stance on Brexit, more specifically on the vote that he submitted during the referendum, to which the singer songwriter responded: “I didn’t vote in the referendum although I can see how there is absolutely nothing attractive about the EU.” The former Smiths frontman then explained how he believes that the talk of a second referendum should be dismissed, for the sake of democracy: “My view has always been that the result of the referendum must be carried through. If the vote had been remain there would be absolutely no question that we would remain.”
For months Morrissey has hinted at his support for far-right political movement ‘For Britain’. The ‘For Britain Movement’ is a political group—often described as extremist—founded by the anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters after she was defeated in the 2017 UKIP leadership. Now though, for the first time in plain words, Morrissey was asked outright if he supported the party to which he answered in no uncertain terms: “Absolutely, yes.”
Morrissey clarified: “I think Anne Marie Waters is the only British party leader who can unite the left and right. I don’t know any other party leader who even wants to do this. The UK is a dangerously hateful place now, and I think we need someone to put a stop to the lunacy and to speak for everyone.
“I see Anne Marie Waters as this person. She is extremely intelligent, ferociously dedicated to this country, she is very engaging, and also very funny at times.”
Morrissey then explained that he has never heard Waters say anything racist, a term in which emphatically branded as “meaningless” anyway. “If you call someone racist in modern Britain you are telling them that you have run out of words,” he said. “You are shutting the debate down and running off. The word is meaningless now.”
He added: “Everyone ultimately prefers their own race… does this make everyone racist? The people who reduce every conversation down to a matter of race could be said to be the most traditionally ‘racist’,” he said.
“Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond. If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order.”
Morrissey has previously voiced his support of For Britain in an interview, saying: “For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation…I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say ‘you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.’ People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”
What has ensued has been a very public backing of the movement from the former Smiths frontman, which has included some high profile controversial comments and, twice in recent weeks, Morrissey has been spotted wearing a For Britain badge, most prominently during a performance on Jimmy Fallon’s major American TV show.
For Britain has been largely labeled as dangerous members of the political spectrum, Morrissey’s decision to support them has been heavily criticised by Journalist and ex-friend of Morrissey Dave Haslam: “My former friend sporting a For Britain badge, a party violently anti-Islam, filled with ex-BNP and ex-EDL, pro-privatisation, far right and prone to exploiting tragedies to disseminate divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric online, what happened to ‘It takes guts to be gentle and kind’?” Haslam reacted.
The news comes as little surprise given that Morrissey, in the recent past, has defended the likes of Tommy Robinson, suggested that Hitler was left-wing and hit out at London mayor Sadiq Kahn in a slur about his speech.
Most recently, Morrissey has been thanked by For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters, thanking him and the Daily Mail for their support: “Thank you so much for your support since the UKIP leadership election,” Waters said in a new YouTube video. “Thank you for giving us so much publicity.”
Perhaps more concerning, Waters went on to suggest that the popularity of the political movement has grown substantially since Morrissey’s show of support: “I can tell you that the traffic to our website exploded with the story breaking of you wearing the For Britain button badge, which you have been wearing everywhere from what I can see. We have sold out of those, but the good news is we have more, and they have been selling like hot cakes, so thank you very much for doing that,” she added.
Signing off her YouTube video, Waters thanked both Morrissey and the Daily Mail for spreading the word about For Britain: “Thank you, Morrissey. I hope to meet you one day,” said Waters. “Thank you, Daily Mail. Keep up the hysterical smearing. It’s having the opposite effect. You are driving people to us.”