Sir John Major was reported to have said to a parliamentary committee that the worldwide success of British pop sensations One Direction, Susan Boyle and Adele has increased “trust” in the perception of British politics abroad.

Speaking before the House of Lords, the former Prime Minister said: “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, and Susan Boyle. Wherever you go, they’re household names and they have an implication for perception and thus soft power.”

All that is left to find out now of course, is which One Direction song is John Major’s favourite? Our money’s on What Makes You Beautiful.