Paul Weller: Keir Starmer’s just a slightly softer version of the Tory party

Musician Paul Weller has said he does not “see much difference” between the Prime Minister and Sir Keir Starmer, whom he called “a slightly softer version of the Tory party”.

The 66-year-old, known to fans as the Modfather, reflected on the upcoming July 4 General Election, which was called by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in May.

Speaking about Labour leader Sir Keir, the former singer and guitarist with The Jam told The Big Issue: “He’s just a slightly softer version of the Tory party, isn’t he?

XFM presents An Evening in Conversation with Paul Weller – London
Paul Weller recently released the album 66 (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“He’d be well served to remember who built the Labour party, trade unions and communists.

“So, I don’t see much difference between him and Sunak and all that mob. The fact that he’s a Sir puts me off a little bit in the first place.”

Weller, who recently released 66, his 17th solo album, also reflected on the issue of homelessness in London, which is explored in his new music video, I Woke Up.

He said: “With the matter of homelessness, it’s: ‘How do you fix this?’ You can’t just keep moving people off and to another area.

“It’s sweeping it under the carpet. Why don’t we try and fix it? I’m not saying it’s an easy thing to fix.

“Some of the homeless people round my way, some I chat to, it’s a mixture of things – some people have definitely got mental problems and they should be helped and looked after, some people have drug problems and could go through a programme.

“But then you need a support system so that once they go through that programme they can’t go back on the streets.

“They need work to help stop that. But that’s in an ideal world. Because of all the cuts, that’s not going to happen. It’s f***ed.”

The black and white music video for the song follows a day in the life of a homeless man in London and it ends with a call to help St Mungo’s, a charity which helps to give rough sleepers a bed.

It was partly filmed where the old homeless settlement known as “cardboard city” stood, near Waterloo Station between the late 1970s and 1990s.

Brit Awards 2006
Paul Weller said it should be remembered who built the Labour Party (Ian West/PA)

Director of the music video Johnny Harris told The Big Issue: “The stairs that (the lead character in the music video) walked down to the place where he’s begging, that was the old cardboard city.

“There’s lots of that kind of stuff. I wanted to go around and kind of pay homage to that history.

“But there’s a sadness today, as you’re filming in those places, and you’re thinking it hasn’t really changed.”

He added: “How is this happening, what is the root of this problem? I don’t really trust the politicians to have the answers.

“The answers lie within these places like St Mungo’s, like The Big Issue.”

Sir Keir Starmer’s representatives have been approached for comment.