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Michael Gove accused of ‘sanctioning stereotypes’ after tweeting Stormzy lyrics

The Conservative minister has drawn criticism for the tweet.

(Matt Crossick and Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
(Matt Crossick and Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Edd Dracott, PA

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has been accused of “sanctioning stereotypes” after quoting the rapper Stormzy in a tweet.

Earlier on Tuesday Mr Gove had responded to Stormzy’s support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by claiming the grime artist is “a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst”.

When shadow education secretary Angela Rayner then tweeted “Michael Gove is crap at both”, Mr Gove, responded: “I set trends dem man copy.”

The tweet was a direct quote from Stormzy’s 2015 hit Shut Up, but received thousands of reactions, many of them negative.

Labour’s David Lammy accused the Tory minister of “sanctioning crass stereotypes” by “telling an intelligent, successful young black man to stay out of politics”.

The Tottenham MP added: “Challenge stereotypes, don’t compound them.”

Author Chris Brookmyre alleged Mr Gove was “indulging in the verbal equivalent of blackface”.

Fellow writer Malorie Blackman tweeted: “What? Whaaaat? Michael Gove is quoting Stormzy? Seriously? If this isn’t a spoof account, is this supposed to swing more of the ‘yoof’ vote in a Tory direction?”

Ms Rayner simply responded: “Played ya self.”

Stormzy is one of a number of rap artists who have stated their backing for Mr Corbyn at the General Election.

In a post on Instagram encouraging fans to register to vote, last year’s Glastonbury headliner wrote: “I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

“There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him – I would be here all day if I began to list them…but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be.”

Akala, Kano and Professor Green also voiced their support as a campaign by the group Grime 4 Corbyn went viral on social media.

View this post on Instagram

It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote. The deadline is 23:59 tomorrow, the link is in my bio. Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation. Your “one little vote” means everything, there were millions of people who thought there “one little vote” didn’t mean shit and now Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU. So your vote really does count. I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him - I would be here all day if I began to list them...but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most. I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering. I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a “bunch of black kids” makes him “turn a hair”, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to blacks people as “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country. These are all MY views, I don’t care for your love or hate for them. I just think it’s important that we all register and go out and vote. And I think it’s important that we use our vote to make sure that the person who runs our country for the next 4 years is someone committed to doing what is right. GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRY YOUR BEST TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHO IT IS YOU’RE VOTING FOR. THE LINK TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS IN MY BIO. 💪🏿

A post shared by @ stormzy on

In Tuesday’s interview with Talk Radio, Mr Gove said: “I think we again know that Stormzy, when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest, he made clear what his political views were then.

“He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”

The Conservative Party has been contacted for a response to criticism of Mr Gove’s tweet.

PA

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