Skip to main content

Chumbawamba’s former guitarist labels Gove a ‘stuck-up, lying, money-grubbing, privileged git’

The Environment Secretary branded himself the Chumbawamba kid in an interview with The Times

MICHAEL GOVE has been labelled a “stuck-up, lying, money-grubbing, privileged git” by Chumbawamba’s former guitarist after the Tory leadership hopeful aligned himself with the anti-authoritarian pop group’s 1998 hit Tubthumping.

The Environment Secretary, with eyes for the top job, has branded himself “the Chumbawamba kid.”

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Gove said: “Someone said the other day: Michael, you are the comeback kid. You are the Chumbawamba candidate: You get knocked down, but you get up again. That’s been true throughout my career.”

The previous week Mr Gove had been forced to out himself as a former coke sniffer prior to publication of a biography that referred to his drug-hoovering past.

His comments sparked ridicule from former Chumbawamba guitarist Boff Whalley, who helped pen Tubthumping.

Mr Whalley told the Star: “Gove doesn’t understand that in order to declare yourself a ‘Chumbawamba kid’ you have to commit to a lifelong hatred of divisive, bigoted, self-obsessed Tory public-schoolboy politics.

“Gove’s naive and clumsy attempt to give himself some popular cultural credibility by remembering one line from a 20-year-old pop song is ridiculous considering Chumbawamba’s reputation for attacking self-serving politicians, physically and otherwise.

“What a stuck-up, lying, money-grubbing, privileged git.”

Chumbawamba achieved further prominence when members of the group soaked John Prescott with a bucket of cold water at the 1998 Brit Awards. The then deputy prime minister was attending the ceremony with his wife as New Labour desperately tried to identify itself with “Cool Britannia,” its back-patting spin on the resurgence of British pop, art and fashion in the 1990s.

Mr Gove came third in the first-round ballot of Tory MPs in the leadership election. His odds of winning stand at 45/1 on Betfair Exchange.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,054
We need:£ 7,946
13 Days remaining
Donate today