Brexit march: Steve Coogan, Delia Smith, Armando Ianucci and others funding transport to Put it to the People march

The Independent's campaign to give the public a Final Say has attracted more than 1 million supporters

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Saturday 23 March 2019 09:00
The Independent hands in Final Say petition to Downing Street

A host of household names have agreed to fund a fleet of coaches to transport protesters to London for a major demonstration in favour of a Final Say referendum.

Delia Smith, the chef and TV presenter, and actors Sir Patrick Stewart and Steve Coogan, and Armando Iannucci, creator of the Thick of It, have stepped in to help marchers attend the “Put it to the People March” from cities ranging from Liverpool and Oxford, to Manchester and Norwich.

Huge crowds are expected in London for the march on Saturday, with sign-ups already exceeding the last demonstration in October, which was believed to be the second largest demonstration in a century.

It comes as representatives of nearly 1 million students penned an open letter, urging all MPs to show their support for young people by attending the march.

Organised by the People’s Vote campaign and The Independent, the demonstration is expected to show the sheer scale of opposition to Theresa May‘s Brexit strategy – and calls for control to be handed back to the people.

With only days left until the UK’s original exit day on 29 March, the prime minister is scrambling to find a way to break the impasse, both at home and in Europe, amid opposition from all sides.

Mr Iannucci, who is sponsoring a coach from Oxford, said: “Voters have been left befuddled and bemused by what’s going on in Westminster and I think the only sensible thing left is to put whatever Brexit deal parliament comes up with to the voters one last time.

“It’s just one more vote to settle matters; what’s the problem? The prime minister’s now on to her third.”

Former Star Trek and X-Men star Sir Patrick Stewart, who is funding transport from Huddersfield, said: “The Put It To The People march may very well be our last chance to demand a democratic final say on this mess before it’s too late.

“This is High Noon for Brexit – when anyone who cares about the future, anyone who feels betrayed by broken promises in the last referendum, anyone who wants to prevent years more of this madness should come to make their voice heard. It’s now or never.”

Joe Hemani, vice-chairman of Chelsea Football Club, has also agreed to donate £5,000 to sponsor several of the coaches, booked by young campaigners, to help cover their costs of getting to the march.

He said: “Seventy per cent of young people in the UK voted to stay in the EU in 2016. And two million young people who weren’t old enough to vote in 2016 haven’t even had their voices heard on Brexit but will now be affected.”

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The march sets off at 12pm on Saturday from Park Lane before making its way to Parliament Square.

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