UK Politics

David Cameron: I'll defy Johnny Marr's Smiths 'ban'

David Cameron and Johnny Marr
Image caption David Cameron and Johnny Marr agree that This Charming Man is a "good song"

David Cameron has pledged to keep listening to music by The Smiths, despite being "banned" from doing so by guitarist Johnny Marr.

The prime minister has voiced his liking of the 1980s group on several occasions, but Mr Marr told the BBC this was "not allowed".

However, speaking on a visit to India, Mr Cameron said he would "go on and listen", regardless of the warning.

He chose the Smiths song This Charming Man on Desert Island Discs in 2006.

The Manchester band, whose other hits include Bigmouth Strikes Again, Panic and Heaven Knows (I'm Miserable Now), split in the 1980s, with Mr Marr and lead singer Morrissey pursuing separate careers.

'Not his kind'

Mr Marr has issued several bans on Mr Cameron liking their music, repeating the warning in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJohnny Marr: Music's got to be less drippy

This time he specifically ruled This Charming Man - best known for a gladioli-wielding Morrissey's louchely gyrating performance of it on Top of the Pops - off-limits.

Mr Marr said: "I think he likes the song. That's probably sadder than if he didn't know it, really. He's entitled to like whatever he likes, as long as he doesn't say it. It's a good song."

He added: "I do forbid him to like it. He shouldn't like us because we're not his kind of people. "

Morrissey has also called on the prime minister to stop proclaiming his admiration, saying in 2010: "David Cameron hunts and shoots and kills stags - apparently for pleasure. It was not for such people that either Meat Is Murder or The Queen Is Dead were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence."

But Mr Cameron, a teenager at the band's height, has continued to display his devotion, even mentioning the 1984 song William, It Was Really Nothing during Prime Minister's Questions on one occasion.

In Delhi for a diplomatic and trade-building mission, he stood defiant, smiling as he told the BBC: "I've now got Johnny Marr and other members of the band saying I'm not able to listen to the The Smiths.

"When I've got the complete and full set, even then, I'm afraid, I will go on and listen to The Smiths."

More on this story