Comedian Eddie Izzard launches bid to become MP

Politics

Eddie Izzard has launched a campaign to become Labour MP for Brighton Pavilion.

The comedian is aiming to be selected as Labour’s candidate for the seat at the next general election, when the Green Party’s only MP Caroline Lucas is standing down.

Izzard, who also goes by the name of Suzy, announced the move in a video posted on social media, in which she touted her East Sussex roots and love of the “open-minded and welcoming” city.

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She criticised the Conservatives for trying to “drag us down”, as well as the Green Party leadership in Brighton under which she said: “House building stalled whilst rubbish piled high in the streets.”

In a further dig at the Green Party, Izzard said: “It will take practical action – not protest – to fix what’s broken”, adding that she can “inspire many thousands to become our friends and allies in the fight for a fairer, greener, cleaner planet”.

Last year, Izzard lost out in the selection contest to be the candidate in the safe Labour seat of Sheffield Central, coming second to a local councillor.

If selected to be Labour candidate, the star will go up against London Assembly member and former Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, who has been chosen as the Green candidate to replace Ms Lucas.

The Lib Dems and Conservatives have not started their selection process in the seat yet.

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The MPs who are standing down at next general election

Ms Lucas, 62, made history when she was elected as the MP for Brighton Pavilion at the 2010 general election, becoming the first and only Green Party candidate to enter the House of Commons.

Her share of the vote has increased at every election since, and she won with a majority of almost 20,000 in 2019.

 Caroline Lucas arrives to cast her vote at the polling station of St Mary Magdalen Community Centre in Brighton May 6, 2010
Image:
Caroline Lucas is standing down at the next general election

In an interview with Brighton news outlet The Argus, Izzard praised the outgoing Green MP for doing a “wonderful job”, but added: “One MP can’t make a government. The Green Party is the party of protest, the Conservative Party is the party of chaos and Labour is the party of governance.”

If selected to stand for Labour, and then elected at the next general election, Izzard would become Labour’s first MP in the constituency for 13 years.

Izzard would also break a glass ceiling by becoming Labour’s first transgender MP, telling The Argus: “That would be very positive but just like Obama being an African-American man becoming president, it wasn’t the thing that defined his presidency.”

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Izzard: ‘I consider being trans a superhero thing’

The comic said she will stop performing if elected to parliament to focus on the job, in the way the late Labour MP and Academy Award-winning actress Glenda Jackson did.

“I will put all this energy in – I’m not coming into politics to sit on my hands,” Izzard said.

A timetable for Labour’s selection process has not yet been set out.

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