Labour leadership candidate uses song by Sunderland's Frankie & the Heartstrings to launch campaign

A song by Sunderland band Frankie & the Heartstrings is being used by Sir Keir Starmer in his campaign to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

Monday, 17th February 2020, 7:29 pm
Frankie & The Heartstrings have given Sir Keir Starmer permission to use their song Hunger during his campaign for the Labour leadership campaign. Drummer Dave Harper is second left.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Starmer is using the band’s 2009 song Hunger during his leadership campaign.

It was first used on Sunday, February 16 before a speech he gave in his constituency at the Roundhouse in London.

Sir Keir is the bookies’ favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition.

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The other two remaining candidates are Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy.

Originally there were seven Labour leadership candidates.

They were recently whittled down to three when Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry became the latest to withdraw.

The winner is due to be announced on Saturday, April 4.

Sir Keir Starmer is one of three remaining candidates in the Labour leadership contest.

The band, who also wrote the song, were happy to give their permission for it to be used by Sir Keir.

Drummer Dave Harper said: “We were approached by some of his team. It was put to the band and, as far as I know, they’re all Labour supporters.

“Keir Starmer is the best and most electable of the candidates, so we were happy for him to use it.

“The Conservative Party used a Primal Scream song at a conference without permission. And Johnny Marr famously told David Cameron that he wasn’t allowed to like the Smiths.

“We’ve given our permission. We haven’t been paid for it. It never crossed our minds to ask about money.”

In 2011, Hunger was the appropriate choice of song used in an advertising campaign by Domino’s Pizza.

Away from politics, Frankie & the Heartstrings are recording new material.

They are also one of the acts lined up to perform at Sunderland’s new Lamplight Festival alongside Kaiser Chiefs, Deacon Blue and KT Tunstall.

It’s a busy time for the group, who are also working alongside the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust on the restoration of the 170 High Street, the site of one of the oldest Binns stores.