KEIR Starmer has named the European Union’s official anthem when asked to pick a piece of classical music which “sums up the Labour Party”.

In an interview with Classic FM’s Moira Stuart, the pro-Brexit Labour leader claimed that Beethoven’s Ode to Joy represented his party as it had a “sense of moving forward to a better place”.

The song, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, has been the European Union’s official anthem since 1985.

The EU’s official website states: “The anthem symbolises not only the European Union but also Europe in a wider sense.

“The poem ‘Ode to Joy’ expresses Schiller's idealistic vision of the human race becoming brothers – a vision Beethoven shared.”

Speaking to Classic FM, Starmer was asked: “What piece of classical music sums up the Labour Party?”

He replied: “One of the pieces I've got is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the choral Ode to Joy. You've got the orchestra, you've got the voices, you've got this big combination. This is very sort of Labour.

“You're getting everybody, Beethoven's getting everybody onto the stage for this. I talk about a national mission for the next Labour government. This is a sense of something. It has got a sense of destiny and is hugely optimistic.

“And so for me, that's been hardwired in me for a long, long time. So I would go with that. There are many others that I could associate with the Labour Party, but it's that sense of moving forward to a better place, it’s incredibly powerful.”

Starmer has been keen not to be outflanked on Brexit by the Conservative party, and has insisted he will keep the UK out of the single market “forever”.

The Tories have lept on his choice of the EU anthem to represent his Labour party.

Conservative chair Richard Holden wrote on social media: “What piece of classic [sic] music is Sir @Keir_Starmer’s favourite… Choose any in the world…

“A Wesleyan Hymn… some rousing Elgar… a modern American classic… a slice of Wagnerian Opera…

“And he alights on the EU anthem… Simultaneously totally naff and completely telling.”

The full interview will be broadcast on Classic FM on Sunday, November 26 at 9pm.