8 Dec 2010

The Smiths appear at Prime Minister’s Questions

Music legends The Smiths made an unlikely appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, with David Cameron conceding he may not be a “charming man” in the eyes of Johnny Marr and students.

Johnny Marr's tweet telling Cameron he's

(Johnny Marr’s tweet telling David Cameron he’s “banned” from liking The Smiths.)

The songs of The Smiths temporarily replaced the usual verbal crossfire in the Commons as David Cameron was asked if he was “upset” at the band’s former guitarist “forbidding” him from being a fan.

The lyrical exchange was triggered when Labour MP Kerry McCarthy asked a question following heated debate over university tuition fees.

She said: “As someone who claims to be an avid fan of The Smiths, you will no doubt be rather upset this week to hear that both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have banned you from liking them.”

Guitarist Marr, who now plays with indie band The Cribs, tweeted on 2nd December: “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.”

The Smiths in 1984. (Getty)

His ex-bandmate Morrissey added his voice two days later, writing a letter to fans saying “I would like to try to explain why I think Johnny is right not to be flattered” before attacking Cameron and the Tories over possible plans to repeal the fox-hunting ban. The singer is famously vegetarian and has campaigned against animal cruelty for many years.

‘Miserable lie’

Ms McCarthy added: “The Smiths are, of course, the archetypal student band. If you win tomorrow night’s vote, what songs do you think students will be listening to?

“Miserable Lie, I Don’t Owe You Anything, or Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now?”

But it was Mr Cameron who had the last laugh, swiftly replying: “If I turned up, I probably wouldn’t get This Charming Man, and if I went with the Foreign Secretary (William Hague), it would probably be William, It Was Really Nothing.”