Great Britain

MI5 ‘tapped UB40’s phones out of fear they were planning a revolution’

RED RED SPYIN'

SPOOKS tapped UB40 pop stars’ phones because MI5 feared they were planning a revolution, the band says.

The reggae group — best known for 1983 hit Red Red Wine — claimed spies were even watching their homes.

Drummer Jimmy Brown, 63, said they “weren’t planning a revolution” — but added the band fought Margaret Thatcher.

He said: “MI5 were tapping our phones, watching our houses, all sorts.

“We thought, ‘Haven’t they got criminals to catch?’ We were just a bunch of potheads, smoking weed and playing music.

“We weren’t planning the revolution, but if the revolution happened, we knew what side we were going to be on.”

Singer Ali Campbell, 62, said the Brummie band was the “real deal” when it came to tackling social injustice in the 1980s. 

He added: “We’d been unemployed since school, trying to wade through Thatcher’s quagmire of s**t and sing about it. 

“We were politicised, disenfranchised, and we had a lot to say.” Ali said they wrote the anti-capitalist song Madam Medusa about Thatcher. He added that it was played on the radio “because DJs didn’t know what we were talking about”.

In 1997 MI5 whistleblower David Shayler claimed spies spent years spying on UB40 stars — because they thought they were Communists who wanted to overthrow the Government.

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