“Change UK is what we make it,” says former Britpop star standing in EU elections

The former frontman of a Sheffield-based Britpop band has spoken about his decision to stand for election as an MEP this May.

Crispin Hunt, the singer in Richard Hawley’s 1990’s band Longpigs, announced last week he would be standing in the upcoming European elections for the new centrist party, Change UK.

Since Longpigs’ split in 2000, Hunt has gone on to write songs for numerous artists, including Jake Bugg, Florence and the Machine and Ellie Goulding.

Now the chair of the Ivors Academy, a trade body for songwriters and composers, Hunt concerns himself with fighting for musician’s rights, industry reform and celebrating exceptional creators in the UK.

He said: “I feel it’s time music was at the forefront of political and societal change again – as per punk and ska – not just a lifestyle choice.

“You don’t have to be Bono to be into politics.”

Change UK formed in February following the split of a handful of Labour and Conservative MPs from their former parties.

A fiercely pro-European group, the party has taken a strong stance in favour of a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

According to Hunt, who is standing as a candidate in the South West, a break from the EU could have worrying implications for already struggling creatives across the country.

He said: “I work across Europe with other songwriters and artists and all the indications are that Brexit will be profoundly damaging to British Music.

“Touring for small bands and large will be severely impeded and burdened with extra costs and paperwork, let alone for touring orchestras.”

But touring is not the only issue artists could face – radio programming, concert programming and streaming could all be affected.

Both main political parties have been unable to find a workable cross-party fix to the ongoing Brexit crisis and the growing appetite for a second referendum.

With public discourse becoming increasingly polarised, Change UK could offer a solution to today’s ‘broken’ politics, according to Hunt.

He said: “Change UK is not political careerism. It’s just as likely to be career suicide.”

“The Lib Dems are sadly a spent force. The Greens are great but a one issue party.

“As Change UK represents a mainstream centrist vision, my hope is remainers will support us – Change UK is what we make it.”

The UK government is continuing its efforts to withdraw from the European Union before the elections take place.

If the elections go ahead, the UK’s component of them will be held on 23 May.