The Tory leadership wannabes think they’re a ‘boyband’. Yes really.

Conservative leadership candidates
Support us and go ad-free

On 18 June, Conservative leadership hopefuls met for a live TV debate on the BBC. In theory, this was a chance for the UK to gain more insight into what we might expect from the next PM. But it turns out there’s more focus on what to call the country’s latest boyband. Yes, really.

Brexit, racism and sheep farming

There were some key ‘moments’ in the debate. Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart shouted over each other so much that host Emily Maitlis told them to “shh”:


Read on...

Stewart and Johnson both discussed the all-important UK issue of sheep farming.

All five attacked Jeremy Corbyn. Frequently. Gove claimed Corbyn isn’t “interested in helping working people” and that he “indulges antisemitic hate speech”. Maitlis didn’t challenge this and smiled. Gove finished up shouting:

Jeremy Corbyn, you discredited Marxist, get back into the dustbin of history where you belong.

To deflect any charges of Islamophobia or racism, Johnson mentioned his “Muslim great-grandfather”. Hunt insisted he can’t possibly be racist because his wife’s Chinese and his children look “different”.

There was a little bit of politics. Former health secretary Hunt, for example, admitted that under his watch social care cuts “did go too far”:

Not surprisingly, there was lots of Brexit bickering and no one presented a clear plan. No change there then.

But the following morning, what they’d said, or failed to say, became far less important.

According to the Telegraph‘s Christopher Hope, the five wannabes joked off camera with Maitlis “that they were a boy band”:

No Direction

Perhaps it was the stools. Because suggestions came in thick and fast to name the band long before anyone even knew that the Eton Mess also thought they were a boyband:

And they kept on coming:

But, on Twitter at least, the favourite name seems to be No Direction:

However, there are already rumours of a split:

The following day, a report highlighted that eight million working people in the UK now live in “relative poverty” – a 40% rise since 1994. The British Medical Journal explained that a “workforce crisis” is the “biggest threat to the NHS’s existence”. And the number of people sleeping rough in London went up 18% – a record high. Against this news, finding out the Tory leadership candidates think they’re a boyband says it all really.

One of these five men will become the next prime minister. And that’s truly terrifying.

Featured image via Twitter – Julie Owen Moylan

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us