THE singer Charlotte Church is to front a show that will be performed in Scotland to drum up support for the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Church, who has been an outspoken critic of the government’s austerity measures, is one of a number of musicians and comics taking part in the #JC4PM – Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister – event at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.
Organisers of the show say it is inspired by Red Wedge, the collective of musicians including Paul Weller, Kirsty MacColl, Sade, and Billy Bragg, who campaigned to oust the Tory government in the 1980s and influenced by Rock Against Racism, which saw artists including The Clash and Elvis Costelllo perform at a series of high profile concerts aimed at combating racism.
Promoters of the #JC4PM campaign say it is organised along similar lines to Red Wedge and is independent of the Labour Party, but committed to opposing the Tories and austerity.
Optimistically perhaps, the organisers hope that SNP and Green Party voters will also support the concert, which is being organised by anti-cuts campaigners and backed by Unite the Union.
The evening of music and comedy in Edinburgh on 9 March is part of a nationwide tour, during which Church will appear on stage alongside Brian Eno, filmmaker Ken Loach and comic Arthur Smith.
Church has emerged as a prominent anti-austerity campaigner in recent months and has addressed protest rallies organised against government cuts.
#JC4PM tour producerCrispin Flintoff said that Welsh-born singer Church, who is also a chat show presenter and actress, had been confirmed for the line-up at the Corbyn event in Edinburgh.
Comedy stars Janey Godley, Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and Sara Pascoe and Barbara Nice are among the names confirmed at the night of music and arts, which will also include political speeches.
Flintoff said: “Charlotte will be performing at the event. We have not yet confirmed all the performers or speakers, but those we have confirmed include Charlotte Church, Janey Godley, Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and Sara Pascoe. The compere will be Barbara Nice.
“The event is in support of Jeremy Corbyn. We are aiming to rally his supporters, regardless of their political party. It’s clear that his appeal is across party lines, especially in Scotland. We are not endorsed or supported in any official capacity by the Labour Party.”
He added: “Red Wedge is the inspiration to what we’re doing, as is Rock against Racism.
“A lot of it is people not in the Labour Party and it’s not impossible that people from the SNP will endorse him, as our view is that Jeremy Corbyn is the best hope the country’s got.
“We’d hope to get support for his ideas from those in the SNP and the Greens. Scotland’s heritage is left wing and politically the SNP has done a lot to make politics more exciting
“This about trying to raise morale of people who are arguing against austerity.”
Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay, welcomed the tour, which it is hoped will also include a gig in Glasgow next year.
He said: “This is an excellent initiative. We have a large number of artists from across the UK supporting Jeremy’s leadership and willing to work on behalf of the Labour Party.
“I look forward to these events being rolled out in Scotland.
“This is an excellent opportunity to mix politics and the arts in a very enjoyable and engaging way.”