Voice’s Jackman hits out at youth service cuts
THE Voice winner Jermain Jackman has spoken out against the Tories, saying their cuts to youth services are “robbing” a generation.
The 20-year-old singer from Hackney, east London, became a household name by winning the BBC talent contest last year with the help of mentor Will I Am.
But Mr Jackman insists he would not have made it without the support of publicly funded projects which are now facing huge cuts.
He said: “I didn’t come from a wealthy background and some of those opportunities were like gold dust.
“Without them, it would have been very difficult to reach where I am today.
“I was born and brought up under a Labour government and in the last four to five years I’ve seen a massive shift in what’s available to young people.”
Councils, which deliver youth services, have seen their funding cut by up to 40 per cent since the Conservatives took power in 2010.
Mr Jackman said: “I really believe we’re robbing young people of their potential.
“Under this Tory government, that brick wall facing young people has become thicker, deeper and stronger. It’s becoming very difficult.”
Even The Voice itself is now being targeted for Tory cuts.
Mr Jackman was dubbed the “singing politician” by Voice judge Tom Jones after telling Tory PM David Cameron to “watch his job” on air.
The long-time Labour member was speaking at the launch of Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn’s “arts for everyone” policy document on Tuesday evening.
Giving his verdict on the leadership contest, Mr Jackman said: “I’m looking for a leader who see’s the importance in the arts. I’m glad I found that in Mr Corbyn.”
The left MP pledged to reverse arts funding cuts and compel organisations to “demonstrate how they will extend opportunities” before they receive public funding.
His proposals also won backing from comedian and activist Josie Long, a founder of the Arts Emergency campaign.
She said cuts to services meant Britain was “squandering a wealth of talent among young people.”
“We need to make sure that it isn’t only privileged young people who are encouraged or supported to make art,” she said.