Labour MP Sarah Jones used Stormzy's lyrics to unsettle Theresa May
Charlotte Hayne
18:08 13th July 2017

Grime hit a different kind of green room yesterday when Stormzy was quoted in Parliament by newly elected Labour MP for Croydon, Sarah Jones.

As is tradition, new MPs get given the floor in the House to make a maiden speech. Politicians use it as chance to set out their goals for their time in office, restate their dedication to serve and even criticise government or party policies.

During her speech, MP Jones spoke about the mass numbers of youth who voted for the first time. It’s been widely noted that young people predominantly put their trust in Labour, and turned out in record numbers. Taking this seriously, Jones said “We must not let them down”.

"[Young people] had perhaps never voted before because they felt politicians had nothing to offer.

"Now they have put their faith in democracy – in us – for the first time. We must not fail them. If the election has taught us anything, it is that we cannot take anyone for granted. We must work harder than ever.”

Noting that the role of politician comes with serious responsibility she added “As Stormzy notes in one of his songs, 'you are never too big for the boot’. Channeling local Thornton Heath Grime star, perhaps there she was also referencing the confidence with which May’s election call, disastrously for her returned a hung parliament.

As well as shouting out the youth, in an underplayed political swipe Jones also thanked Theresa May. Saying she owed May a “debt of gratitude” for calling the election in the first place and wryly noting that her Conservative losing opponent Gavin Barwell had penned a book in 2015 called “How to win a Marginal Seat.”  Perhaps Jones has a future as a grime griper herself. She’s certainly not afraid of a battle or two.

So how far will Stormzy  take hold in the House of Commons? Could the last week of PM questions before Summer closing see critics shouting Stormzy “shut up” lyrics?

We predict no. Not least because the Chamber when Jones made her speech was pretty empty.  Sadly, not that many MPs were around to hear her call to arms that politicians “must not let young people down”

She also spoke about the huge potential her constituency Croydon has and tweets often under the tag #ambitious for croydon. With Stormzy, Benga and a whole fleet of stars from Croydon’s Brit School coming up through the musical ranks ( where would we be without Croydon’s Dane Bowers?) we can see where her ambition comes from.  




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Photo: Emma Viola Lilja