Will Smith and Chuka Umunna dance to Fresh Prince of Bel Air

The Big Question: how are these children old enough to remember the theme tune?

This is a distinct improvement on George Osborne skipping, isn't it? Earlier today, the actor Will Smith visited a Brixton school and led the pupils in a rousing rendition of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune. 

He posted a video on his Facebook page here, noting: "I want to send a shout out to all my peeps in Brixton... Chuka Umunna, Tessa Jowell, headteacher Lesley Morrison and everybody at the St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls!"

Below is the theme tune singalong.

Full marks here go to Labour's business spokesman Chuka Umunna, who managed to bop along without looking utterly excruciating. Tessa Jowell was also on the visit (see below) but alas, does not seem to feature in this particular clip. 

(Photo from Tessa Jowell/Twitter)

One question remains: how are these children old enough to remember the Fresh Prince?

Chuka Umunna and Will Smith. Photo: @ChukaUmunna

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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Watch Ian Paisley Jr thank Martin McGuinness for partnership that "saved lives"

The son of Ian Paisley said he "humbly" thanked the man who was both his father's enemy, and then friend. 

Northern Irish politics started 2017 at a low point. The First Minister, the Democratic Unionist Arlene Foster, is embroiled in scandal - so much so that her deputy, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, resigned. Then McGuinness confirmed speculation that he was suffering from a serious illness, and would be resigning from frontline politics altogether. 

But as Ian Paisley Jr, the son of the Democratic Unionist founder Ian Paisley and a DUP politician himself, made clear, it is still possible to rise above the fray.

Paisley Sr, a firebrand Protestant preacher, opposed the Good Friday Agreement, but subsequently worked in partnership with his old nemesis, McGuinness, who himself was a former member of the IRA. Amazingly, they got on so well they were nicknamed "The Chuckle Brothers". When Paisley Sr died, McGuinness wrote that he had "lost a friend".

Speaking after McGuinness announced his retirement, Paisley Jr wished him good health, and then continued: 

"The second thing I'm going to say is thank you. I think it's important that we actually do reflect on the fact we would not be where we are in Northern Ireland in terms of having stability, peace and the opportunity to rebuild our country, if it hadn't been for the work he did put in, especially with my father at the beginning of this long journey.

"And I'm going to acknowledge the fact perhaps if we got back to some of that foundation work of building a proper relationship and recognising what partnership actually means, then we can get out of the mess we're currently in."

Questioned on whether other unionists "dont really get it", Paisley Jr retorted that it was time to move on: "Can we please get over that. Everyone out there has got over it. We as the political leaders have to demonstrate by our actions, by our words, and by our talk that we're over that."

He said he was thanking McGuinness "humbly" in recognition of "the remarkable journey" he had been on. The partnership government had "not only saved lives, but has made lives of countless people in Northern Ireland better", he said. 

 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.