Eddie Izzard criticises transphobia in Brighton MP campaign Brighton News

The comedian and activist was defeated by Tom Gray to contest the constituency at the next general election at a hustings event on Sunday.

In a statement seen by The Argus, Eddie Izzard thanked her supporters but said: “The level of transphobic abuse during this campaign has been deeply troubling, in particular the targeting of those who dared to stand with me.

“They faced relentless online abuse and hostility, yet their commitment to what’s best for Brighton Pavilion and my vision for what we could achieve in overturning a 20,000 Green majority never wavered.”

She also said: “At times, this felt less like a selection contest and more like a referendum on trans people.

“Labour should always stand to confront a call out discrimination wherever it lies.

“If we saw racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism or misogyny directed towards any campaign on the same scale that transphobia was directed towards our campaign, we should rightly have expected it to be called out immediately.

“We must guard against the view that when it comes to trans people, any abuse goes.”

Eddie also congratulated Tom Gray after being selected as Labour’s candidate and said she hopes he becomes the MP for Brighton Pavilion.

“To the people of Brighton: your support has been my strength. Despite this setback, my love and commitment to you and our shared ideals remain steadfast,” she said.

Mr Gray will face Green Party candidate Sian Berry at the general election.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Ms Berry also hit at the abuse Eddie received during the selection process.

She said: “I have been so disgusted to see both the volume and intensity of hateful abuse here aimed at Eddie Izzard in the past few days.

“She doesn’t deserve it, nobody does, and it was this platform at its worst in my opinion.”

Eddie Izzard was one of four candidates to run for the Labour selection in Brighton Pavilion, alongside Tom Gray, Birgit Miller and Lucy Helliwell.

Mr Gray said that Eddie would make a “brilliant MP” and hoped that she is selected soon.

He said: “The abuse aimed at people in public life is sometimes intolerable and I know it is so much worse for women and people from minority communities.

“That’s why I am fighting so hard for a Labour government because that is the only way our country can put the cultural fighting behind us and deliver the new era of equality our country needs.”

Birgit Miller, Labour councillor for Goldsmid, said she “utterly condemns” the transphobia Eddie Izzard and her team faced.

She said: “I believe Brighton and Hove is a welcoming and accepting city, and the abuse which she and her volunteers received is unacceptable.

“It should not and will not be tolerated by the overwhelming majority of our residents who supported Eddie as the wonderful candidate she was in this contest.”

Lucy Helliwell, the Labour councillor for North Portslade, said that Eddie’s statement was “upsetting to see” and joined her call “for a more tolerant and respectful nation”.

“She was throughout the campaign a credit to the party and I wish her every success in future selections,” Cllr Helliwell said.

The Labour Party was approached for comment.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-20 11:44:00

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