CMAT pulls out of Latitude Festival in protest against sponsor Barclays

CMAT has pulled out of Latitude Festival (PA)
CMAT has pulled out of Latitude Festival (PA)

Singer CMAT has announced that she will no longer be performing at Latitude Festival in protest at the event being sponsored by Barclays Bank.

The move follows similar action at Brighton's Great Escape Festival in May, where more than 100 artists pulled out over Barclays' involvement.

This is due to campaigners accusing the bank of increasing its investment in arms companies that trade with Israel, amid the ongoing war in Palestine.

Taking to social media on Thursday, CMAT - real name Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson - issued a lengthy statement explaining her decision to withdraw from the festival in Sussex, which is due to take place on July 25 - 28.

The Irish star said that she had asked festival organisers to find another sponsor, but as they had not, she felt she had no other option.

She apologised to fans who had bought tickets specifically to see her, and said she hoped to "make it up to you somehow".

Welsh singer Georgia Ruth has also withdrawn from the festival, saying that Barclays' investment in the arms trade "must be challenged".

Issuing a statement of their own, Barclays said it recognises "the profound human suffering" caused by the "complex and long-running conflict" in Gaza.

A spokesperson said the bank does not make its own investments, but provides financial services to businesses "including those in the defence sector".

That includes companies "that supply defence products to Nato and other allies including Ukraine".

They added that "Barclays does not directly invest in these companies" and that "decisions on the implementation of arms embargoes to other nations" should be taken by governments.

The Standard has contacted a representative for Latitude Festival for comment.