Within an hour of us reporting yesterday that ‘X-Factor’ winner James Arthur was ahead in the Christmas number one chart race, the Official Charts Company did some more counting, taking into account the very latest sales data, and revealed that as of yesterday lunchtime the all-star cover of ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’, released under the moniker The Justice Collective and in aid of the Hillsborough families’ legal fund, was now in the lead.
As of this morning, the OCC announced, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ had sold 146,000 copies so far this week, whereas Arthur’s ‘Impossible’ has shifted 132,000 units. This puts the Justice Collective 14,000 sales ahead, a considerable boost from the gap of just 3000 yesteday.
OCC boss Martin Talbot told CMU: “This really is the closest number one battle we can remember – even closer than the legendary 2009 battle between Rage Against The Machine and Joe McElderry. The poll concludes at midnight on Saturday night, so there is a long way to go yet – but this one looks like going down to the wire”.
Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne yesterday announced that he was waving the VAT on the Justice Collective release, meaning there will be more money to go into the pot to help pay the legal fees of the families who lost family members in the 1989 Hillsborough Tragedy.
The Chancellor’s announcement came as the High Court in London quashed the controversial verdict originally reached in 1991 of ‘accidental death’ for the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the Hillsborough football ground in 1989. Home Secretary Theresa May also announced a new police investigation into the causes of the disaster, given the recent report that debunked some of the original claims made by authorities in relation to the incident.
Confirming the VAT break, Osborne said: “These families have been campaigning for justice for almost 24 years. It’s been a long journey so I’m pleased to be able to say the government will effectively waive the VAT on sales of the Hillsborough single, ensuring that as much money as possible goes towards helping these families”.