Singer-turned-activist Charlotte Church branded David Cameron "misogynistic" and "gross" at an anti-austerity rally on Thursday, while claiming she would be she would be willing to pay a 70p tax rate if it would protect public services.
The 29-year-old Welsh vocalist recalled meeting the prime minister in 2012 while she was with the press campaign group "Hacked Off".
Speaking at the London headquarters of union Unite, she said: "He was gross and really misogynistic. All the men were opposite him, and me and Jacqui Hames sat either side of him for the photo opportunity. He was so dismissive to what I had to say. It just really irked me that whole situation."
Church's remarks came at a meeting ahead of a planned demonstration later this month. Speaking at the gathering, the campaigner said: "I would happily pay more. I would totally be happy if it was raised to 60 or 70%."
According to the Mirror, Church said: "I've paid all my taxes since I was six years old.
When asked why, as a millionaire, she had taken up the cause of the anti-austerity movement, Church replied: "Being poor is not a prerequisite for empathy."
She later defended her comments on Twitter, saying: I'm disappointed at the vitriol directed my way, if I gave 70% of my earnings to HMRC voluntarily, not only would it not last long as our public services cost 100s of billions to fund but I doubt it would encourage the richest in this country to get a conscience and follow suit.
“I have no ulterior motives. The injustice and inequality in society that is pushed further by this government makes me as angry as the hulk!”
She also took aim at MP pay rises:
Wow. Now @charlottechurch wades into MPs over pay rise - " A 10% pay rise is just like one rule for them, another rule for us'— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) June 4, 2015
"We're in an economic crisis and we've got this deficit and, no - put it back in guys, you'll be alright" - @charlottechurch on MPs pay rise— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) June 4, 2015
Reaction to her comments was mixed:
@charlottechurch you're doing a cracking job Mrs, we're with you all the way x— Beth Simpson (@MrsHound) June 4, 2015
@charlottechurch You don't have to defend your position of wishing and wanting to do good for the sake of others - no one has to!— David @ PhosGraphe (@phosgrapheuk) June 4, 2015
@charlottechurch good for you! Those who have a voice should always use it to protest and to help those who cant be heard! x— Rob K (@Keetch1701) June 4, 2015
@charlottechurch Stick to your guns! It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't thing. Some just don't like you talking about inequality.— Steve Howell (@FromSteveHowell) June 4, 2015
@charlottechurch Ignore the boneheads out there! At least you are doing something!— John Magnam (@JohnMagnam) June 4, 2015
But many were more cynical…
If Charlotte Church wants to pay 70% income tax, she can easily set up an arrangement with @hmtreasury to do this. She wont of course.— James Willby (@JamesWillby) June 4, 2015
.@charlottechurch Whilst I don't condone vitriolic attacks, it's just possible that struggling people are fed up with celebrity posturing.— Matthew Corrigan (@CorriganMJ) June 4, 2015
Charlotte Church has stated that she would pay 70% tax if she could. Admirable.Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't she send a cheque to HMRC?— Richard Vaughan (@richiejv) June 4, 2015
@MrsKray Charlotte Church is as grubby a money-grabber as they come. She's in no position to lecture.— Dorian Beige (@Dorian_Beige) June 4, 2015
If Charlotte Church wants to pay 70% tax, go ahead, there is nothing stopping you calculating what should 70% and paying it— Rebecca Sword (@rebeccasword) June 4, 2015
Nothing stopping Charlotte Church voluntary paying 70% tax now. Somehow I doubt she's that committed. https://t.co/vpPRw1f0YD— Adam Clarke (@AdamtlClarke) June 4, 2015
Last month Church appeared at an anti-austerity march in Cardiff, where she was spotted holding a placard which read: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”
She was criticised by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, who labelled her comments “unfortunate and unbecoming” and described her as a “champagne socialist”.
She is also one of the many who have come under fire from Katie Hopkins.
Hopkins described Church as a "fat Welsh Russell Brand" and a “chubster”, while Church responded by labelling the columnist a “parasite”.