Blur drummer Dave Rowntree selected as Labour candidate for general election

<span>Dave Rowntree performing with Blur in Denmark in 2023.</span><span>Photograph: Gonzales Photo/Alamy</span>
Dave Rowntree performing with Blur in Denmark in 2023.Photograph: Gonzales Photo/Alamy

Modern Life is Rubbish, Blur once famously pronounced. Well, after the band’s drummer was selected as a Labour candidate at the next general election, they may hope to change the situation.

Dave Rowntree will stand in Mid Sussex, the party announced on Wednesday evening. The constituency includes Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and the Mid Sussex villages.

After spending the 1990s battling Oasis, Rowntree will now have to do battle against the Conservatives who currently hold the seat. However, Mims Davies, the incumbent MP, announced in May that she would stand in the new seat of East Grinstead and Uckfield, which will contain parts of the current Mid Sussex constituency.

In a statement, Rowntree said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to become Labour’s first Mid Sussex MP.

“Residents have their best chance in a generation to make their vote count and return a Labour MP to parliament. The Tories have run out of ideas, and the Lib Dems have run out of steam.

“I’m running for parliament to provide the energy and vision the area so desperately needs.”

The Mid Sussex Labour group posted on X: “We think Dave will be an excellent and very successful candidate.”

Rowntree is among the four founding members of the band along with the singer, Damon Albarn; the guitarist, Graham Coxon; and the bass player, Alex James.

Last summer, Blur played two gigs at Wembley, their first major UK shows since 2015 when they performed at Hyde Park.

Getting his campaign machine started early, Rowntree was scathing of Wednesday’s budget, saying on X: “This is the weirdest budget ever. A bunch of minor policy announcements. Is there a flourish at the end?

The musician added: “What a waste of an hour. Tiny policy announcements. Fiddling with the tax system. Bogus productivity savings rather than proper funding. AI fixing all problems.”

Other MPs who have swapped music for Westminster include the Conservative MP David Morris, who was a guitarist in the 1980s. Pete Wishart, the SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, was a founder member of the Scottish rock group Big Country and part of the group Runrig.

In December, Tom Gray, of the rock band Gomez, was selected as the Labour candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency in the upcoming general election.