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The PM’s a Taylor Swift super-fan? Oh, shake it off, Rishi...

So Sunak claims he’s a Swiftie: it won’t make him hip, says Ed Power. Just look what happened to David Cameron and the Smiths, Donald Trump and the Stones, Theresa May and Abba… politicians and pop should never mix

Wednesday 16 August 2023 06:47 BST
What may have happened when Rishi Sunak basked in the glory of his alleged favourite pop star Taylor Swift
What may have happened when Rishi Sunak basked in the glory of his alleged favourite pop star Taylor Swift (iStock/Getty)

These are testing times for Taylor Swift fans. Tickets for The Eras tour are impossible to secure, and she’s been romantically linked with the world’s most annoying man, The 1975 singer and professional troll Matty Healy. But now comes the heaviest blow yet. Prime minister Rishi Sunak was reportedly shaking it off at Swift’s recent super-sold-out show at LA’s SoFi stadium. It’s true: Rishi’s a Swiftie.

And not just a Swiftie, in fact, but a Swiftie who has incorporated his passion for the singer into his exercise regime. During the Sunaks’ California holiday, the PM reportedly participated in a cycling class soundtracked by the star herself. Wow – what a cruel summer for Swift devotees. It’s certainly up there with the revelation that his Downing Street predecessor Liz Truss was a huge Swift aficionado and even had a selfie with the singer (cue inevitable quip about Truss and the Conservative party never, ever getting back together).

The haters are gonna hate – and Sunak certainly isn’t the first politician to be scorned for his pop fandom. Politicians and musicians have, in fact, engaged in the same ritualistic dance across the decades. Think Ronald Reagan claiming a spiritual connection to “Born in the USA” Springsteen’s ode to America’s forgotten blue-collar class. Theresa May shimmying to “Dancing Queen”. Matt Hancock claiming to love grime music. The performers in question usually flee, in horror, for the figurative hills.

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