Morrissey has come under fire on Twitter for wearing what appears to be a badge in support of the controversial group, For Britain.
Last year, the former Smiths frontman made headlines when he discussed accusations of racism and alleged connections between Halal meat and ISIS. He also referred to Hitler as ‘left wing’ and said that London Mayor Sadiq Khan “can not talk properly”. He later issued a new statement in which he said he “despised racism and fascism” and voiced his support for Muslims, while also advocating far right political party For Britain.
The nationalist party was founded by the anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters after she was defeated in the 2017 UKIP leadership election.
This week, one fan shared a video of Morrissey outside his current Broadway residency in New York where he appears to be wearing a badge emblazoned with the ‘For Britain’ logo. Scroll below to see it.
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After a screengrab was taken of the singer with the badge, it soon spread across Twitter.
“My former friend sporting a For Britain badge, a party violently anti-Islam, filled with ex-BNP and ex-EDL, pro-privatisation, far right and prone to exploiting tragedies to disseminate divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric online,” wrote journalist Dave Haslam on Twitter, sharing the image. “What happened to ‘It takes guts to be gentle and kind’?”
My former friend sporting a For Britain badge, a party violently anti-Islam, filled with ex-BNP & ex-EDL, pro-privatisation, far right & prone to exploiting tragedies to disseminate divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric online. What happened to "It takes guts to be gentle and kind"? pic.twitter.com/xngflIZqjl
— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) May 9, 2019
Many others have also taken issue with the badge.
Just Morrissey there, wearing an actual fucking For Britain badge pic.twitter.com/A33h1GunYq
— Fergal Kinney (@fergal_41) May 8, 2019
"I despise racism.
I despise fascism.
I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me.
In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security.
That party is For Britain."
Morrissey 20/4/18 #confused
— SmithsMoz Cuttings (@c_smithsmoz) May 8, 2019
— Chemical Punnage (@Uncleskinny) May 8, 2019
My mate has texted me a photo of Morrissey wearing a For Britain badge. Fucking hell Mozzer.
— Raymond (@raubrey) May 8, 2019
I always said Johnny Marr was the cool one. Here's Johnny calling out the far right on Twitter. And here's Morrissey supporting the far right, wearing a For Britain badge after a show. Source (check third video in this Instagram post): https://t.co/VCqTI8In9K pic.twitter.com/KuExTTY7h9
— Vote on 12 December (@snigskitchen) May 9, 2019
Explaining his support of For Britain last year, Morrissey said that he followed them as they were an upset to the status quo of Conservative and Labour governments. He strongly denied accusations of racism.
“I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters,” said Morrissey. “It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless.
“For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say “you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.” People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”
Calling for more free speech in the political realm, Morrissey continued: “Anne Marie Waters seeks open discussion about all aspects of modern Britain, whereas other parties will not allow diverse opinion. She is like a humane version of Thatcher … if such a concept could be. She is absolute leadership, she doesn’t read from a script, she believes in British heritage, freedom of speech, and she wants everyone in the UK to live under the same law.
“I find this compelling, now, because it’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech… I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson… “
He added: “I know the media don’t want Anne Marie Waters and they try to smear her, but they are wrong and they should give her a chance, and they should stop accusing people who want open debate as being ‘racist’. As I said previously, the left has become right-wing and the right-wing has become left – a complete switch, and this is a very unhappy modern Britain.”
Previously denying accusations of prejudice, Morrissey that he “despised racism and fascism”.
“I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me,” he said. “In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security. That party is For Britain.”
Last year, Morrissey cancelled his UK and European tour dates due to “logistical reasons“. This followed ‘former fans’ planning an ‘anti-racism party’ at the same time as his Manchester show. The party was organised by Haslam, whom Morrissey’s management later slammed as “a has-been” who was “simply using the situation to gain some much needed attention to himself” and “using this platform for his own agenda” which was “bullshit”.
Reacting to the news, Haslam said: “It’s a shame for the fans who made plans to see him, we know what it’s like to be let down by Morrissey. If the dates are rescheduled, we’ll of course be happy once again to provide an alternative event in the city. One that counters Morrissey’s support for Tommy Robinson and the far-right.”
“We have enquires about taking ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ to other cities and will consider this.”
“For now, so glad we raised the issue of Morrissey’s divisive views. No regrets about that at all. These things matter. We 100% believe in countering anyone who spreads division in our community. We believe in #unity #solidarity #music and #love.”
Meanwhile, Morrissey’s recent US and Canadian dates have seen him bring select solo and Smiths classics into his setlist– namely ‘The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get’, ‘Girl Afraid’, and ‘Seasick Yet Still Docked’.