James Blunt has gone on the offensive on Twitter.
James Blunt, the Harrow-educated creator of some of the world's dreariest pop songs, has accused the shadow culture minister Chris Bryant of being a "classist gimp" after the MP cited him as an example of performers coming from a privileged background.
James Blunt has called Christ Bryant MP a "classist gimp"
Blunt, 40, has written a latter arguing that his private education and background has actually hindered his success in the British music industry.
In a direct riposte to Bryant, Blunt accused the politician of being a "prejudiced wazzock" and suggesting it is the MP's ""populist, envy-based, vote-hunting ideas which make our country crap, far more than me and my shit songs, and my plummy accent."
In his original comments to the Guardian, Bryant had argued that the arts should provide more opportunities or people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
"I am delighted that Eddie Redmayne won [a Golden Globe for best actor], but we can't just have a culture dominated by Eddie Redmayne and James Blunt and their ilk," he said. "Where are the Albert Finneys and the Glenda Jacksons? They came through a meritocratic system. But it wasn't just that. It was also that the writers were writing stuff for them.
"So is the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, doing that kind of gritty drama, which reflects [the country] more? We can't just have Downton programming ad infinitum and think that just because we've got some people in the servants' hall, somehow or other we've done our duty by gritty drama."
In a Twitter post citing the interview, Blunt wrote: "Dear Chris Bryant MP, You classist gimp. I happened to go to a boarding school. No one helped me at boarding school to get into the music business."
Still, Bryant isn't the only high profile person to call upon the arts to do more for diversity. The actor David Morrissey said young working-class people are being priced out of creative professions.
"Television is doing very well for itself, but the trickle-down effect isn't working," he told the Radio Times. "We're creating an intern culture - it's happening in journalism and politics as well - and we have to be very careful because the fight is not going to be there for people from more disadvantaged backgrounds."