COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard has issued a rallying call to Redditch residents to make their voices heard at May’s general election.
Speaking on a visit to the town to support Labour’s parliamentary candidate Rebecca Blake, Mr Izzard told the Standard voting was the only way to change things.
“I joined the party in 1995. My dad was always a Labour party voter.” he said.
“I went to boarding school and everyone there voted Tory and we were the only Labour-voting family it seemed in the entire school. There must have been some Lib Dems in there but I couldn’t find them.
He said: “The Labour party wants fairness. We want business and wealth creation but we want the safety net as well. I think if
people in the Tory party were really for fairness they would join the Labour Party.”
The 53-year-old is currently touring the country to meet party candidates and said Ms Blake had his full support.
“It’s great to see the passion of people on the streets, to see the passion of the Labour party, that’s what we do well.” he added.
“The Tory party has put a lot money into big hoardings and buildings and stuff, but we actually get out and meet people so that is why I wanted to come here and show my support.
“The people here were waiting out in the really cold weather. It is eight degrees but with a chill factor of three degrees.”
He added: “Voting is the only way to change things and people have fought and died for the vote. Men and women have fought and died, and right at this moment somewhere in the world they are fighting and dying for the vote. It is the only way to change things.”
“Being engaged, being in there is the only way to change Europe and the world. It is the only way to do it. So get involved, be an activist, get out there and get your voice heard. Don’t just twiddle your thumbs.”
Ms Blake who is looking to overturn the Conservative seat won by Karen Lumley in 2010 said she was delighted by the visit to help launch the campaign.
“I speak to so many non-voters on the doorstep and so to have people like him saying we do need to vote Labour to get a fairer country, to get a better Redditch, they might listen to him.” she said.
“Standing for my home town I want to put Redditch on the map and to have someone like Eddie Izzard come it helps to highlight the good things which are going on in Redditch and we can do more and be better, but people have to got to vote for it.
“And there’s a lot at stake. So I would say to all those non-voters you have to get out and vote because we need change and we need to improve things.
“So many of those non-voters are young people and there is a lot on offer for young people who haven’t got a lot at the moment.
“So those who are paying £9,000 tuition fees a year or are on minimum wage which is being eroded, lets up the minimum wage, reduce tuition fees, lets have apprenticeships for young people who come out of school so they have a good future.”
The comedian had photographs with residents. Photo by Marcus Mingins 1415036MMR6
Parliamentary candidate Rebecca Blake and Mayor Pat Witherspoon share a moment with Mr Izzard. Photo by Marcus Mingins 1415036MMR8
Crowds gather to meet the famous comedian.
Photo by Marcus Mingins 1415036MMR4
Eddie Izzard is greeted by Labour supporters.
Pictures by Marcus Mingins 1415036MMR6
Comedian Eddie Izzard is greeted by parliamentary candidate Rebecca Blake and Labour supporters. Photo by Marcus Mingins 1415036MMR5