Eddie Izzard suggests being trans affected her chances of becoming a Labour MP

‘Politicos have a set of criteria that they vote on,’ the comedian said

Lydia Spencer-Elliott
Saturday 25 May 2024 15:25 BST
Comments
Comedian Eddie Izzard launches campaign to become Labour MP

Eddie Izzard has said she fears being trans may affect her chances of ever becoming an MP.

The 61-year-old failed in her bid to become the Brighton Pavilion Labour candidate at the next general election last December after being beaten by the activist and musician Tom Gray.

Izzard, who first came out as trans in 1985, said she may be considered too “different” for voters with strong political beliefs to align themselves with.

Speaking to The Times, Izzard said: “If you’re transphobic, getting a trans MP is not what you want. Then if you get one, you’re probably going to get two.”

The comedian claimed the “average person” would support her ambitions to become an MP but “politicos” want candidates to “replicate them” exactly or they’ll vote for somebody else.

“I have all this energy,” she said. “I can analyse systems, which is needed in politics, and I can communicate. I think a lot of people would vote for that.

“But when you get to the selection process it’s, ‘Yes, like the energy, but do you think exactly like I do?’ And if you’re even slightly different, well…

Eddie Izzard has said she fears being trans may affect her chances of ever becoming a Labour MP
Eddie Izzard has said she fears being trans may affect her chances of ever becoming a Labour MP (Getty for Politicon)

“It doesn’t matter. I’ll carry on. I’ll get to be an MP. I’ve just got to keep pushing.”

The Independent has contacted the Labour Party for comment.

The comedian prefers to go by the name Suzy and to use the pronouns she/her, but doesn’t mind “he/him” and has said she will be “remaining Eddie Izzard in public”.

“I prefer she/her but I don’t mind he/him. So no one can really get it wrong unless they call me Kenneth or Sabrina,” she said.

The comedian has unsuccessfully tried to become Labour’s candidate in Brighton Pavilion and Sheffield Central
The comedian has unsuccessfully tried to become Labour’s candidate in Brighton Pavilion and Sheffield Central (Stuart C Wilson/Getty)

Izzard tried unsuccessfully to become Labour’s candidate in Sheffield Central in 2022.

Launching her MP bid for Brighton a year later, the comic said she was standing to “support this brilliant city and its diverse and vibrant community”.

“Whilst the Tories stoke fear and encourage culture wars, Brighton has shown the country another way; open-minded and welcoming to all, with a thriving arts, creative and cultural scene. Imaginative, energetic and full of entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.

Izzard pledged to take “practical action” rather than “protest” to “fix what’s broken”, committing to fight for a “fairer-greener-cleaner planet”.

“Reaching out and lifting people up is at the heart of my politics. I believe in making connections – not breaking connections,” she added. “So please join me – get in touch, get involved and let’s make Brighton Pavilion Labour again.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in