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'Soundtrack to lies': M People founder decries PM walking on stage to 'Moving on Up'
5 October 2022, 14:01 | Updated: 5 October 2022, 14:19
M People founder Michael Pickering, has slammed prime minister Liz Truss after she walked on stage at the Tory conference to the band's hit song 'Moving on Up'.
The musician told LBC's James O'Brien that, had the band known in advance that the song had been chosen, they would have sent a cease and desist letter to the conference venue to stop it getting played:
"If we'd have known about it we could have sent a letter of cease and desist to the venue and they would've stopped it. I'm not having that woman or that party to have anything to do with my music - well it is now - but I wouldn't have had that.
"We [musicians] are all in fear that these freaks are going to use our music, you know."
Mr Pickering also called the government the worst in his "quite long" lifetime:
"It's the worst government in my lifetime, and my lifetime is quite long as you've probably worked out. I think they're despicable, I can't stand them.
"From a personal point of view, being a northerner, there is no such thing as levelling up - they're making the gap bigger, or trying.
"There's no trains running to the north of England at the moment.
"They all lied about partygate. They've lied about everything, and how can you trust them.
The song, Moving on Up was played as prime minister made the musical entrance at the Tory party conference, where she gave her first speech as leader.
So apparently we can't stop Truss walking out to our song, very weird! So sad it got used by this shower of a government. BTW Truss labour used it with permission in 90's. I don't want my song being a soundtrack to lies.— Michael Pickering (@themike_p) October 5, 2022
The son of the band's vocalist, who is a Labour councillor, also mocked the use of the song.
Westminster Councillor James Small-Edwards, son of M People singer Heather Small, said that the prime ministers decision to walk out to the song was an "apt choice" for an "out of touch Tory Government" that he said was "moving on out".
An apt choice!— Cllr James Small-Edwards (@JSmallEdwards) October 5, 2022
This tired and out of touch Tory Government is indeed moving on out 🎶🌹 https://t.co/1BG86JPcxa
In her speech, Liz Truss vowed that "all EU red tape will be consigned to history" by the end of the year and said that health secretary, Therese Coffey would "improve A&E" and "bust the covid backlog".
The speech did not announce any new policy. However one unexpected moment did come in the form of protestors from Greenpeace UK interrupting the speech.
The environmental campaign group's head of public affairs, Rebecca Newsom and policy officer, Ami McCarthy, stood up close to the front of the conference hall with a banner asking: "Who voted for this."
In a statement released moments after the intervention, Greenpeace said it had identified at least seven areas across environmental protection, climate action, workers’ rights and tackling inequality where policies considered by Truss’s cabinet contradicted the 2019 Conservative election manifesto:
"In a healthy democracy, people should get the government programme they voted for, but Liz Truss is putting most of it through the shredder.
"People voted for strong action on climate, a fracking moratorium, world-leading environmental protections, and tackling poverty and inequality.
"What they’re getting instead is fracking, a potential bonfire of rules on wildlife and nature protection, and now the prospect of benefit cuts."
When the protest occurred, it was met with boos from the conference delegates, who also snatched the banner from their hands, only for the women to pull out another, identical banner.
"Let's get them removed," Truss said.