New Order’s Bernard Sumner: “The Tories should vacate the premises and Labour should get its act together”

New Order’s Bernard Sumner has made a rare public statement to condemn Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the government at large.

The frontman took to his website to share a message, beginning his statement: “I don’t normally post much and don’t normally post about stuff like this – but I do care about it.” He went on to highlight two news stories: firstly, the announcement that the government looking to overhaul Personal Independence Payments for people with mental health issues, which Sumner branded as “a disgusting way to cut costs.”

Sumner went on to suggest the move was “probably an attempt to recoup some of the money they wasted on ineffective personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid pandemic,” calling it “a scandalous waste of money.”

“According to the government’s own figures the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) lost 75% of the £12 billion it spent on PPE in the first year of the pandemic to inflated prices and kit that did not meet the required standards – including fully £4 billion of PPE that will never be used by the NHS and needs to be disposed of, ie burnt,” he wrote. “A scandalous waste of money and, as usual, it’s the sick and vulnerable who suffer for it. That figure is now £14.9 billion and the Government are claiming it as part of their investment in the NHS figures.”


The frontman also noted the suspicious disappearance of Brexit news, saying: “It’s very strange. In particular I wonder if the BBC are worried about funding and Channel 4 are concerned for their license to operate? I thought censorship only occurred in regimes like in Russia and China.”

Finally, Sumner pointed to the recent news that Rishi Sunak and Labour rejected a youth mobility scheme offered by the EU to allow young people to live and study in the EU. “How can you do that to young people?,” he wrote. “They should enjoy the same freedom these politicians had when they were the same age.”

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Sumner also wrote: “We are enduring yet more of the same old attitude when it’s been obvious for a long time now that Brexit is an abject failure. According to opinion polls ‘the British people’ – to quote the Tories constant patronising justification – categorically do not want Brexit any more, so why are they all pretending everything is OK as far as ‘the British people’ are concerned when, clearly, it isn’t? There are no benefits, only downsides that so far have cost the UK economy an estimated £140 billion and then there’s Rwanda. if Brexit hadn’t happened, Rwanda wouldn’t be happening.”

He concluded his statement: “In my opinion, the Tories should vacate the premises and Labour should get its act together and show us they have the courage required to govern effectively.”

In 2022, New Order spoke in Parliament about suicide prevention on the 42nd anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death. The Joy Division frontman took his own life in May 1980 after battling depression and epilepsy in his final years.

“You were told in those days that [suicide attempts] were a cry for help, but that’s not really the case,” he shared. “It’s as serious as hell and should be taken seriously.


“Ian stayed with me for two weeks before he died and I tried every day to talk him out of it. He didn’t agree with me, but I think he was on a mission. He had this agenda that he wouldn’t discuss with us. It was going to happen, and I don’t think there’s anything we could have done.”

He also called for better-functioning health services, saying of the NHS: “You hear tales of the 18-month waiting list. You can’t go on a waiting list if you’re thinking of killing yourself. That’s ludicrous.”

Earlier this year, New Order also teamed up with Peter Saville to release a ‘Blue Monday’ shirt for suicide prevention charity CALM for the second year running.

The band said of the shirt: “Starting a conversation with somebody could be the most important conversation that person ever has. It could be life-changing. So with ‘how does it feel’ we felt, as CALM ambassadors, we had the perfect lyric and message to get out there on the 2024 edition of the CALM Blue Monday t-shirts that Peter Saville has so beautifully designed. And knowing that all the money raised will help make sure CALM are there for even more people who are struggling makes it even more powerful.”

In other news, New Order have announced two huge UK shows – find all details here and get your tickets here.