Page 3 Profile: Mike Read, Former Radio 1 DJ


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The Independent Online

The rapper?

In 2006, the former Radio 1 Breakfast show host entertained a Tory conference dinner with a 10-minute political rap. Perhaps believing the former DJ – who in 1984 refused to play "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood on account of its "obscene" content – would impress voters, MPs urged him to launch a bid to become Mayor of London. He declined to stand against Ken Livingstone, and nowadays he declines to have anything to do with the Conservatives whatsoever.

Switched to Labour?

No. He's shifted right, and will speak this morning at the UKIP party conference in Birmingham. In his first speech for the party at a regional conference in July, he stated his support for leader Nigel Farage, and decried politicians who enter Whitehall to serve their own interests.

Seems perfectly reasonable.

As the speech went on, the crowd lapped up Read's words with increasing fervour. But those with more liberal views could have found it a little prickly. The French, he said, are a "possible strategic threat to this country". And Eastern Europeans? "No other country wants British criminals so why should we have theirs." You can't please everybody in politics, he said, but reducing immigration would only upset "most of Hampstead – and Harriet Harman". During the Olympics, "the East End will welcome over 150 nationalities. That's almost 50 less nationalities than it welcomes during the other 50 weeks of the year." So there's a flavour of what to expect today, though he'd be wise to tone it down in front of the media.