Tim Booth has labelled Morrissey a “dick” amid claims the revered singer supports the far-right.
The former Smiths frontman has just postponed his UK and European tour dates with his management saying “logistical problems” were to blame.
Booth and Morrissey were contemporaries in the Manchester music scene of the 1980s, as members of James and The Smiths respectively, with Booth saying the pair were once friends.
The 58-year-old, who is preparing to release a new album with James titled Living In Extraordinary Times, told the Press Association: “I knew Morrissey as a friend when he was sweet, very shy, very frightened. Wanting success, wanting what happened with The Smiths and also terrified of it simultaneously.
“I saw about their seventh gig in Manchester and they were fully formed. They were ready, they were lock and loaded. And we weren’t.
“They were so kind to us. Morrissey called us the best band in the world, they took us on tour, they tried to take us to America but we actually turned them down. And they were so sweet, all of them, for years.
“But I know he’s become a bit of a dick.”
Booth also said Morrissey’s former bandmate, Johnny Marr, “kept that band together” and was “one of the sweetest human beings you will ever meet”.
Morrissey, 59, recently sparked fury when he expressed sympathy for the jailed EDL founder Tommy Robinson.
Protesters labelling themselves former fans of the singer planned to hold an anti-racism party to coincide with his gig at the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester before it was postponed.
Booth added: “As I say, he did some very kind things for us so therefore it’s hard for me to say he’s a dick but he’s being a dick at the moment.”