Updated: Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 @ 6:00pm

James Arthur's homophobic rant would have seen him kicked off Christmas switch-on, says Manchester council

James Arthur's homophobic rant would have seen him kicked off Christmas switch-on, says Manchester council

Exclusive by Edward Roberts

James Arthur's homophobic rap and Twitter rant would have seen him kicked off Manchester's Christmas light switch-on had it happened earlier, claims the city centre spokesman Pat Karney.

Arthur, 25, performed his hit singles in front of thousands before flipping the festive switch that illuminated the city on November 8.

But now the 2012 X-Factor winner has become embroiled in a fierce row over his use of the lyrics ‘you fucking queer’ in a rap aimed at fellow artist MC Mickey Worthless.

Spokesman for Manchester City Centre, Councillor Pat Karney, has blasted the comments, that come only two weeks after Arthur played outside the town hall.

He said: “Of course if this would have happened beforehand we would have looked at the evidence and reconsidered.

“We wouldn’t have anybody homophobic playing at the event, that I’d make sure of.”

Councillor Karney is the council’s Christmas spokesman and chooses the acts that perform each year.

He revealed that he decides which artists will play based on the opinions of his 11 nieces and nephews whose ages range between nine and fourteen.

This is the target demographic that the council aims to entertain when they choose the musicians.

Arthurs fan base has taken a massive hit as the singer’s controversial comments began to circulate social media.

The talent show star has been blitzed with criticism from several famous faces including Frankie Boyle, Lucy Spraggan and Matt Lucas.

The Little Britain star tweeted: “Fuck you @JamesArthur23 for your use of the phrase ‘fucking queer’ in your latest track.”

Arthur has since apologised to his followers for his language, which included referencing his foe as ‘talibani’.

Despite his public show of remorse the backlash proved too strong and he has since bowed out of his twitter account.

Many Manchester residents have voiced their distain at Arthur’s actions after cheering him on underneath a sea of fireworks at the Christmas celebration.

Darren Chambers, 22, from Crossacres, said: “You can’t help but feel that whoever turns the lights on almost represents the city and his behaviour is not something I wish to be associated with.”

Others have applauded the council for recognising the potential threat that Arthur could incur.

Emma Tobin, 24, from Wythenshawe, said: “I completely agree with Councillor Karney. You can’t have someone so narrow minded being so involved in the community.

“He shouldn’t be used again as some might see him as a role model and this isn’t the type of attitude we want people to be conforming to.”

Arthur’s popularity skyrocketed after finishing first in last year’s X-Factor and he went on to sell 1.2million copies of his debut album in the UK.

One voter, Frazer Cameron from Burnage, has said he regrets supporting Arthur during the talent competition.

The 21-year-old said: “Even when said in jest, people who make comments like this, let alone publically, should not be given any kind of spotlight.”

Image courtesy of ITV via Youtube, with thanks.

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