News

Jeremy Corbyn backs Big Issue single as Christmas No 1 race hots up

The Labour leader called on his 1.6 million followers to get behind Phil Ryan’s bid to battle Ed Sheeran and Beyonce for coveted spot

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has given his seal of approval to the Big Issue Christmas single as Phil Ryan takes on heavyweights Ed Sheeran and Beyonce to secure the No 1 spot.

The Labour leader praised Walking Down The Lonely Street in a message to his 1.6 million Twitter followers, thanking them for helping to tackle homelessness over the festive season.

Corbyn, who spoke exclusively to The Big Issue ahead of June’s election, tweeted: “Great song by @philryanmusic for the @BigIssue.

“Thank you to everyone who is fundraising, volunteering and doing what they can to help homeless people this Christmas.”

He is the second political leader in a week to pledge support for the Yuletide song after Vince Cable turned out for The Blue Sky Network Campaign Against Homelessness event in London’s Waterloo rail station on Friday.

The Liberal Democrats chief joined Big Issue founder Lord John Bird at the event as well as Ryan who performed the tune live.

Cable said: “Well over 4,000 people are estimated to be sleeping rough every night in England, a 16% increase in 2016 alone.

“There is a responsibility on politicians to highlight the scale of the problem.

“The situation is deteriorating at a rapid rate. There must be more government funding to tackle homelessness as a matter of urgency,” continued Cable.

“There are rough sleepers, beyond that are sofa hoppers who no-one is counting, and beyond that the people in temporary accommodation.

“Supporting The Big Issue Christmas single is an excellent cause – and it’s a good song to boot!”

Phil Ryan, who was part of the team that launched The Big Issue 26 years ago, wrote Walking Down This Lonely Street to address the loneliness and mental isolation that many people face on the streets.

But the former Animals man is facing stiff competition for festive glory from everyone from Ed Sheeran and Beyonce to the likes of Ball and Boe, Alexander Armstrong and even Shane Richie.

We’re also asking you, the Big Issue readers, to get involved and share your own version of the songs on social media using the lyrics and chords directly from Phil’s pen.

The single is available now on all major music online stores, including the iTunes and Google Play stores, priced at just 99p with all proceeds going to The Big Issue Company to support their work in dismantling poverty.

Find your local vendor

Find your Vendor

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty
Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner on the first day of the general election campaign
General election 2024

Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'
Homelessness

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'

'Nature is slowly healing': How rewilding is bringing Britain's extinct species back from the dead
Conservation

'Nature is slowly healing': How rewilding is bringing Britain's extinct species back from the dead

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule
General Election 2024

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know