Idris Elba: Starmer and I have had deep conversations on tackling knife crime

British actor Idris Elba said he has had “deep conversations” with Sir Keir Starmer about how to tackle knife crime.

The Luther star met with the Labour leader earlier in the week at an event where they spoke to the families of knife crime victims.

On Sunday, following a rousing speech on the West Holts stage at Glastonbury Festival, the 51-year-old said it is “crucial” that the next prime minister addresses the issue.

Elba graced the stage at Worthy Farm to speak about knife crime and discuss his campaign, Don’t Stop Your Future – which is demanding a ban on zombie knives and machetes.

Speaking to the PA news agency backstage, he said: “I think that the politics around knife crime are so crucial to anyone that ends up in office (as prime minister), it’s important that whatever happens, something is done about knife crime.

“I believe that (Sir) Keir and I have had very deep conversations about his plans to try and tackle it.

“He’s read and listens to what I’ve got to offer in terms of the manifesto I wrote about how we try (to fix) this, and he’s been very responsive.

“So I can only hope right now that everyone is paying attention and that we’re going to move forward and fix it.”

General Election campaign 2024
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer rests his hand on the shoulder of Idris Elba, as they meet families of knife crime victims (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Asked if he has a message for the next elected government, he said: “We’ve been sort of thinking in silos around knife crime and youth culture.

“We need to think as a group. We need to think as joined up teams.

“So the communities need to speak to the schools (to) education, education needs to speak to the healthcare. Healthcare needs to speak to the police.

“These are all joined-up conversations that need to happen, and the governments need to just support that.

“They also really need to pay attention to what youth culture needs.

“The youth are being ignored, and the result of that, we can see, is in a rise in violence and all sorts of fragmented behaviour.”

Glastonbury Festival 2024
Idris Elba at the Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)

The actor also spoke about the significance of speaking at Glastonbury, which is known for giving a platform to politicians and artists wishing to draw attention to varying social issues.

“Glastonbury has this really incredible history of important moments,” Elba said.

He added: “People have used the opportunity to speak to so many people and spread messages and it’s (Glastonbury) a celebration of life in arts and culture.

“And this, my campaign, the campaign – Don’t Stop The Future – is a celebration of life.”

After Elba gave his speech, 18-year-old musician Romaya from west London, a recent Brit School graduate, performed a song about knife crime.