Business secretary Cable said it was mad that the chart-toppers earned that much and “much of it is downright insensitive and grossly immoral”.

But he’s stepped back from the comment, saying he thought his interviewer was asking about the pay of chief executives – easy mistake when compared to five young blokes harmonising and dancing in unison for a legion of fans. 

“I don’t want to attack One Direction; this is one particular group who are apparently very popular and very successful so I have nothing against them,” he said.

Successful indeed, their debut album Up All Night was number one in no less than 16 countries and they boast a bunch of singles that just won’t go away.

Have a listen to this and decide if you think Cable should have stuck to his guns.

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