UB40 come round to Jeremy Corbyn's way of thinking in Labour leadership battle

Updated: 

Jeremy Corbyn will take to the stage with UB40 today as the reggae band endorses his leadership campaign in a Labour Of Love to keep him at the top of the party.

The chart-toppers, in their heyday during the 1980s and 1990s, hailed the Opposition leader as "incorruptible" and a "man of the people" as they prepared to join him for a press conference in London.

Mr Corbyn is facing a challenge for control of the party from Owen Smith following a year of turmoil and division, but is on course to comfortably hold on to his job.

In a joint statement, the band said: "Jeremy has re-ignited an interest in politics for people who no longer felt included, and engaged and inspired a new generation of young voters who, for the first time, believe that they have an incorruptible politician who truly represents them. For these reasons he has our full support as leader of a genuine, believable Labour Party."

Named after a dole claim form, UB40 formed in 1978 and went on to enjoy chart success with a number of songs, including Rat In Mi Kitchen, Red Red Wine and Can't Help Falling In Love.

But, in echoes of the party it is supporting, the band has found itself beset by acrimony and division in recent years. Singer Ali Campbell left and joined forces with two other band mates, leading to a bitter battle over use of the group's name.

Mr Corbyn said: "I am delighted to receive the endorsement of UB40, one of the most successful British reggae acts of all time.

"UB40's story was and remains inspiring; people from across cultures and backgrounds coming together and combining their talents - in a time when prejudice was more prevalent - and creativity to produce music that has endured across decades.

"The arts are of central importance to our economy, and will be one of the key priorities for the next Labour government. For every pound invested in the arts, £1.06 is generated for the economy.

"This is why, as part of my plan to rebuild and transform Britain, I have pledged to increase funding to the arts to reach the European average, so that no one and no community is left behind."

UB40 guitarist Robin Campbell said: "We support Jeremy Corbyn because he is the only one willing to speak up for working people, who have been badly treated by successive governments, including new labour, in recent decades.

"He is the only leader offering something different to business as usual. Westminster needs big change, and Jeremy is the man to do it."

Drummer Jimmy Brown said: "I believe in Jeremy Corbyn because I believe he tells the truth, he tells it like it is regardless of the backlash. A real man of the people."