Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has attracted criticism over an interview in which he backed a far-right political party and hit out at ethnic minority politicians.
The singer spoke to fan site Morrissey Central in an interview that has ignited anger on social media.
Speaking to the outlet, Morrissey appeared to throw his support behind far-right political party For Britain, a UKIP splinter group run by lesbian former UK Independence Party leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters. Waters has attracted controversy in the past with hardline anti-Muslim rhetoric, and has publicly stoked fears of homophobic attacks by migrant communities..
Morrissey praised the party over its “animal welfare” policies, saying: “There is a new party called For Britain. They have the best approach to animal welfare, whereas no other party even bothers to mention animal welfare.
“The EU will not protect animals from halal or kosher practice. For Britain seem to say what many British people are currently thinking, which is why the BBC or Channel 4 News will not acknowledge them, because, well, For Britain would change British politics forever … and we can’t have that!
“If you love animals, you really cannot vote Labour or Conservative. Give animals a break. They’ve done enough for you. Let them live.”
Elsewhere in the interview Morrissey made racially-charged comments directed at the country’s most prominent Muslim politician, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
He said: “The Mayor of London tells us about ‘Neighborhood policin’ – what is ‘policin?’ He tells us London is an ‘amazin’ city. What is ‘amazin?’
“This is the Mayor of London! And he cannot talk properly! I saw an interview where he was discussing mental health, and he repeatedly said ‘men’el’… he could not say the words ‘mental health.’ The Mayor of London! Civilisation is over!”
He went on to attack the most prominent black woman in British politics, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, claiming: “Even Tesco wouldn’t employ Diane Abbott.”
In the same interview the singer responded to allegations of racism.
He said: “People accuse, yes, but they can’t penetrate or illuminate. The sole point of all of those NME slurs was to turn my audience against me.
“I recall one NME piece many years ago which addressed its readers with, ‘We just can’t turn you off him, can we?’ That said it all.
“As far as racism goes, the modern Loony Left seem to forget that Hitler was Left wing! But of course, we are all called racist now, and the word is actually meaningless. It’s just a way of changing the subject.
“When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is, ‘Hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it, so perhaps if I distract you by calling you a bigot we’ll both forget how enlightened your comment was.'”
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The interview was allegedly conducted by a John Riggers, but the Telegraph notes that there does not appear to be any online evidence of the author’s writing outside of the interview.
The singer’s beliefs have been under scrutiny for some time, with backlash from fans last year after he incorrectly claimed that Sadiq Khan “does not condemn Islamic State.”
Morrissey also defended Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein amid a tide of sexual harassment allegations.
For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters has previously hit out at the LGBT rights movement, saying: “There’s a problem today and that problem is that gay rights campaigners, even prominent ones, are sanitising and ignoring religious homophobia, particularly from Muslim communities.
“There is much evidence to show that there is an alarming level of anti-gay sentiment among Muslims in Britain and across Europe, and large scale migration to Europe in recent years, has been from countries where high numbers of people believe that homosexuality should be criminal, some even supporting the death penalty.”
“I will continue to speak out and raise awareness of this, in the interests of everyone’s liberty, including gay people.”
Waters has also hit out at feminist campaigners for “offer[ing] unwavering support to male-female transsexuals, at the expense of actual women.”
She said: “What happened to all those years of work real feminists did? To accommodate transsexuals, the feminists have decided that all of that was meaningless.
“Third-wave feminism is a poison that has elevated all other considerations over and above those of actual women.”