MP calls for ban on Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters performing in Manchester

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters should be prevented from performing in Manchester amid fears his “divisive actions” could fuel anti-Jewish hatred, MPs have heard.

The veteran rocker, who left Pink Floyd in 1985, played in Germany while “dressed as an SS soldier”, the House of Commons was told.

Labour MP Christian Wakeford added that Waters used the Star of David on a giant pig and the name of Jewish diarist Anne Frank at his show.

Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters
Roger Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The MP for Bury South voiced concerns over Waters’ gig at the AO Arena in Manchester on June 10 and said it should not go ahead.

Waters this week said people had been “wrongly accusing me of being an antisemite” and said he had been left saddened by people trying to cancel his shows.

Speaking during business questions, Mr Wakeford told the Commons: “The city of Manchester has a rich and vibrant history in which those of different faiths and backgrounds have lived together as well as stood together through difficult times and times of division.

“So I’m concerned to note that Roger Waters is due to play at the AO Arena in Manchester next month.

“Mr Waters performed in Berlin this week and used the name of Anne Frank to stoke division, performed whilst dressed as an SS soldier and used the Star of David on a giant pig to insinuate that Jewish people run the world.

“The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester has issued a statement condemning his divisive actions.

“Will the Leader of the House agree with me that concerts like this have no place in our society and shouldn’t go ahead, and agree to a debate in Government time on the record levels in anti-Jewish hatred in this country?”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replied: “I think the whole House was very shocked at what (Mr Wakeford) has said.

“I shall make certain that the Home Office has heard (Mr Wakeford’s) concerns today and I think that this House has made great efforts, particularly in recent years, to ensure that the scourge of antisemitism is addressed and stamped out from our country.

“I shall certainly make sure that all relevant departments have heard (Mr Wakeford’s) concerns today.”

Waters this week thanked those who had attended his shows in Germany in a Facebook post in which he also paid tribute to the White Rose movement, an anti-Nazi Germany resistance group.

Waters said: “The fact that some in power in Germany and some at the behest of the Israeli lobby have attacked me, wrongly accusing me of being an antisemite, and have tried to cancel my shows saddens me.

“Walking around Munich yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was in the presence of Big Brother. It leaves a bad taste.”

The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester said in a statement: “Roger Waters is famous for being a member of one of the most important bands in history.

“Unfortunately, he is now more synonymous with spreading deeply troubling political views that will rightly concern Jewish and other communities across Greater Manchester.”

After criticising his actions at a gig in Munich, it added: “Those who are booking Waters to perform must balance whether it is acceptable to be providing a venue for him to spread these views.

“Jewish communities across Greater Manchester are vibrant and thriving. However, allowing Waters to perform risks damaging community cohesion, with the possibility of an increase in hate crime targeting Jewish people.”