James Blunt brands Chris Bryant a ‘classist gimp’

Mr Blunt was cited by Mr Bryant as an example of performers from a privileged background who he claimed are dominating the arts. Picture: PA
Mr Blunt was cited by Mr Bryant as an example of performers from a privileged background who he claimed are dominating the arts. Picture: PA
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SINGER James Blunt has provoked a row after he called Labour’s openly gay shadow culture minister Chris Bryant a “gimp” in a debate over greater diversity in the arts.

The Brit award winner was cited by Mr Bryant as an example of performers from a privileged background who he claimed are dominating the arts.

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But in a furious response, Mr Blunt hit back calling Mr Bryant a “classist gimp” and a “prejudiced gimp” and accusing the MP of teaching the politics of jealousy.

In a letter, he wrote: “Every step of the way, my background has been AGAINST me succeeding in the music business.

Interview: James Blunt, singer

“And then you come along, looking for votes, telling working class people that posh people like me don’t deserve it, and that we must redress the balance.

“But it is your populist, envy-based, vote-hunting ideas which make our country crap, far more than me and my shit songs, and my plummy accent.”

But Mr Bryant told the singer to “stop being so blooming precious.”

He went on: “If you’d read the whole of my interview, you’d have seen that I make the point that the people who subsidise the arts the most are artists themselves. Of course that includes you.

“But it is a statement of the blindingly obvious that that is far tougher if you come from a poor family where you have to hand over your holiday earnings to help pay the family bills.”

He added: “You seem to think talent will always out. My fear is that someone like Stanley Baker, the son of a disabled miner in the Rhondda, who rose to be one of Britain’s greatest film actors (Zulu), would have found it even harder to make it today.”

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