More than a few residents in Montpelier and beyond encountered a slight surprise arrival on their doorstep yesterday. Eddie Izzard, a staunch Labour supporter, came to Bristol helping Thangam Debbonaire and Labour supporters knock door-to-door in Stokes Croft to help with the local canvassing effort for the contested Bristol West seat.
Arriving at The Bristolian on a busy Wednesday afternoon as locals made their orders for pul biber tofu, vegan quesadillas and other delicious but niche selections, Eddie Izzard told supporters in the café that ‘we’ve got to fight this fight’ and reiterated the importance of getting young people to vote by the 22nd May ‘it definitely doesn’t change anything if you don’t even try, and it changes absolutely nothing if you don’t even register to vote’.
‘we need to be brave and curious not fearful and suspicious’
Thangam Debbonaire, who did an MSc at the University, is currently standing for re-election for the Bristol West constituency, and faces stiff competition from high-profile Green Party candidate MEP Molly Scott Cato. The Green Party ran a close second for the Bristol West seat in the previous election, and the Liberal Democrats are this time vying for the battleground constituency too.
Both Thangam and Eddie sat down with supporters and discussed election matters, with Eddie advising Bristol students to ‘do exactly what I am doing, if half the world is saying let’s walk backwards, the rest of us have to go forwards. You can choose as an individual to go out and do things which are open and positive, and we need to be brave and curious not fearful and suspicious’
‘politicians complaining about the press is pointless, you have to engage’
Asked about whether he would be happy to see Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, he said he would ‘always’ support a Labour candidate ‘over Theresa May, or any prime minister of a Conservative party. I’m always for a Labour party government.’
In light of Theresa May’s recent visit to Brislington, in which she was accused of trying to hide from residents and imposed a ban on journalists, it was noticeable that Thangam Debbonaire was more than happy to engage; ‘politicians complaining about the press is pointless, you have to engage. I make a point of never complaining about the press, I think it’s a really bad idea’.
Asked about May’s response to the press on her Bristol visit ‘well, she’s not the only politician to be hostile to journalists’ was Thangam’s diplomatic response.
Did you catch Eddie on the Labour campaign trail yesterday? Let us know.