Keir Starmer needs to ‘get his arse in gear’, says Billy Bragg as singer joins Camden’s Music Walk of Fame

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Billy Bragg was joined by Jamie Webster and Chris Packham as he was added to Camden’s Music Walk of Fame.

Billy Bragg called for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to give peopleideas that are hopeful” after his stone on Camden Town’s Music Walk of Fame was unveiled on Saturday (September 9).

Billy Bragg used the unveiling ceremony to celebrate activism and those fighting for social justice.

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He was joined at Saturday’s ceremony by singer-songwriter Jamie Webster, and by naturalist Chris Packham, who later joined Bragg on stage at the first Camden Music Festival for a rendition of A New England.

After the induction, the singer told LondonWorld the climate crisis is the most important issue facing the world today.

“Which is why I’m so pleased Chris Packham’ could come - because he’s at the very front of that and anything I can do to help him next during the election to take that issue on I’m going to do that,” he said.

Bragg praised Webster for speaking out on social issues, saying: “For young people it’s tougher than it was in my time because someone like myself could go on the dole for a couple of years, learn to be a singer-songwriter and then pay a huge amount of tax back to pay for that. It’s much harder now for young people to do that so they need more support. It’s great to see someone like Jamie stepping that up, taking that on.”

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He called for Labour leader, and Camden’s local MP, Sir Keir Starmer to “get his arse in gear” ahead of the general election.

“I think he needs to start giving people some ideas that are not just pragmatic but are ideas that are hopeful,” he said. “People need hope. People need to think things are going to get better. They don’t need to think things are just going to be the same as but a bit more stable. They need hope.”

Billy Bragg praised the activism of Chris Packham, and duetted with him on A New England at Camden Music Festival. He called for Labour’s Keir  Starmer to “get his arse in gear” ahead of the general election. (Photos  by André Langlois/Belinda Jiao/Getty Images)Billy Bragg praised the activism of Chris Packham, and duetted with him on A New England at Camden Music Festival. He called for Labour’s Keir  Starmer to “get his arse in gear” ahead of the general election. (Photos  by André Langlois/Belinda Jiao/Getty Images)
Billy Bragg praised the activism of Chris Packham, and duetted with him on A New England at Camden Music Festival. He called for Labour’s Keir Starmer to “get his arse in gear” ahead of the general election. (Photos by André Langlois/Belinda Jiao/Getty Images) | André Langlois/Belinda Jiao/Getty Images

Bragg grew up in Barking and is now based in West Dorset. Asked whether there was any chance Labour would not get his vote, he said: “Nah, not really. Not where I live.”

Bragg was speaking before deputy leader Angela Rayner made pledges on zero-hour contracts and anti-strike legislation at the TUC conference.

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He said it was “amazing” to see so many familiar faces from throughout his career at the Music Walk of Fame ceremony.

“There are so many people I haven’t seen for a few years, which is really lovely,” he said. “What a nice thing. I’m so glad. It’s a lovely spot here as well. I have a lot of happy memories of going in the market here. It’s just such a vibey place, Camden, so I really feel honoured to be part of it.”

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