Mum puts dent in rock band's wild man image

A burgeoning row over claims by two members of the top rock group Oasis that they once burgled houses and stole car radios took an unexpected turn yesterday when their mother entered the fray to insist that they were nice thoughtful boys who, as far as she knew, had never been involved in crime.

The row began when Tory MPs were alerted to comments by Noel Gallagher, brother of Oasis co-star Liam, reported in Melody Maker. He is said to have told the paper: "What people have got to understand is that we are lads. We have burgled houses and nicked car stereos, and we like girls and swear and take the piss."

The comments incensed a number of Tory MPs who pressed for a police investigation. Harry Greenway, MP for Ealing North, said: "If the members of this group mean what they say then it is a matter for very serious concern."

Sir Wyn Roberts, MP for Conwy, added: "If they are owning up generally to burgling, perhaps they would help the police by letting them know which houses and which premises they burgled."

Police agreed to investigate the reports, but then the Gallaghers' image as the wild men of rock took a deeply embarrassing twist, by courtesy of their mother.

Margaret Gallagher insisted that, despite their outrageous claims, they were just a couple of nice boys who loved their mum. She also claimed that she would have known if they had been involved in crime as they had lived at home with her - Noel until he was 23. "As far as I know they were never involved in any crime at all. They were just normal boys growing up," she told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

A spokesman for Oasis's record company, Creation, said: "We think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup. The chances are Noel's original comments were tongue-in-cheek."