It’s a crazy, crazy sight: Kiss rocker Gene Simmons stuns Deputy Prime Ministers Questions as he drops in to watch from the Commons’ guest seats (wearing shades and leather trousers) after posing with MPs
He’s played the world’s biggest arenas in an epic music career spanning half a century.
But one veteran music star swapped rock n’ roll excess for the more sedate entertainment of Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions today.
Gene Simmons, the bassist and lead singer of glam rock band Kiss stunned MPs and Westminster watchers by rocking up in the Commons.
The 73-year-old, who is currently touring the UK with the band, watched Oliver Dowden take on Angela Rayner, while Rishi Sunak is in the United States visiting Joe Biden.
While some viewers of the confrontation suggested it was a weak, dour affair, Mr Simmons branded the entertainment ‘insane’ after leaving the chamber, clad in leather trousers and shades.
The hard rocker, in the UK for the band’s End Of The Road tour, was a guest of DUP MP Ian Paisley (North Antrim) and received a private tour before making his first trip into the Commons chamber.
He was deluged with MPs asking for selfies as he toured the building.
Speaking in central lobby, the massive-tongued Crazy Crazy Nights star told the PA news agency: ‘What I just saw in there was controlled chaos. It was the clash of wills but respectful – the right honourable so and so, it was fascinating.
‘In America, it’s like the middle finger is a salute. I think Americans can take a big lesson in civility in how to make democracy actually work and still respect the other side.’
The hard rocker, in the UK for the band’s End Of The Road tour, was a guest of DUP MP Ian Paisley (North Antrim) and received a private tour before making his first trip into the Commons chamber. He is pictured with Tory MP Alex Stafford
Speaking in central lobby, the massive-tongued Crazy Crazy Nights star (pictured left, with his band) told the PA news agency: ‘What I just saw in there was controlled chaos. It was the clash of wills but respectful – the right honourable so and so, it was fascinating.’
Asked if he had visited Parliament before, Simmons said: ‘Never to Parliament – taught it to my students, but never was physically here and I will tell you, touching a piece of granite that’s over 1,000 years old is insane.
‘America is so young and has no sense of history, everything over there is just fast, immediate, instant gratification and there’s no time to sit there and just gaze, I mean, look where you are – it’s insane.
‘We’re standing on, in terms of democracy, hallowed ground.’
With the Kiss star watching on, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Dowden branded Labour’s plan to ban new oil and gas extraction licences in the North Sea ‘job-destroying recklessness’.
The party has been criticised by unions for taking cash from a major Just Stop Oil backer at the same time as their green policies on fossil fuels align.
Conservative MP Gareth Bacon had asked: ‘Would (Mr Dowden) agree with me that it would be disgraceful for a political party to accept huge donations from a company that was simultaneously claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds of public support during furlough?’
Mr Dowden said: ‘I of course completely agree. And actually the furlough scheme helped protect around 14.6 million jobs during that terrible Covid crisis.
‘But what do we discover? Labour is taking £1.5 million from Just Stop Oil backers.
‘Adopting their policy to block new oil and gas is job-destroying recklessness, and it’s hard-working people unfortunately who will be left paying the price.’
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