Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:33am ET by  
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One Direction are "soft power" for the UK says former Prime Minister John Major

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, who was in power at Downing Street from 1990 to 1997, has praised boyband One Direction for raising the cultural profile of the UK on an international scale.

During a speech he made at the House of Lords, Major explained that the music coming from Britain is having an international impact and is making a huge impression on the world, and it's all down to acts like the 'Story Of My Life' heartthrobs and Adele:

"We've had over 20 British albums top the charts in countries around the world. It's not just the established stars like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones."

"You have Adele, One Direction, Susan Boyle. Wherever you go, they're household names and they have an implication for perception and thus soft power."

Major added that the weight given to the UK by such popular music acts feeds into politics and makes the country more trustworthy as a result: "That is a background that few countries can match in terms of profile and that is important for our diplomacy."

"Because people see and think about Britain, because of these elements of soft power, and because of our history, there is... a greater tendency to trust the British in diplomacy."






Watch One Direction perform 'Midnight Memories' on 'The X Factor' here: