Lumley goes Green in European elections

It is the celebrity endorsement that all the major political parties would have loved to receive. But Joanna Lumley, who shamed ministers into granting immigration rights to Gurkha veterans, has given her backing in next week's European elections to the Greens.

Her decision is a blow for the Liberal Democrats who had been wooing the Absolutely Fabulous star during the Gurkha campaign.

But the actress – named as the female celebrity the public would most like to run the country – said the Greens were most likely to bring about real change. "I urge you to cast a positive vote for a better future by voting Green in the European elections," she added.

Ms Lumley, a champion of human rights in Burma, the free Tibet cause and animal rights, paid tribute to the party's leader, Caroline Lucas, "a tireless campaigner... staunchly defending human rights and strongly promoting greater protection for animals".

A YouGov survey today says the Greens are the most trusted politicians. Asked which party's politicians they thought were most likely to put their own financial interests before the interests of their country, only five per cent of respondents named the Greens.