UK: Eddie Izzard champions diversity in bid to join Labour NEC

Eddie Izzard has renewed his campaign to join Labour’s ruling national executive committee, calling on his party to increase representation of LGBT, disabled and minority ethnic members. 

The comedian and Labour activist, who failed to win a seat on the NEC in 2016, said he would stand for a second time after the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, announced at the autumn conference that there would be three new places on the governing body.

Speaking to the Guardian, Izzard said Labour needed to “tap into the diversity within our movement” and “do more to increase involvement from a range of groups that I don’t feel are represented enough in our party”.

He added: “That includes those from LGBT, disabled and ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as those who have suffered from mental health issues. Gender equality and increasing working-class participation is also vital.”

The new members of the NEC will be elected by the membership in local constituency Labour parties. The seats are likely to be won by candidates who express support for Corbyn.

Momentum, the grassroots group of Corbyn supporters, has already released a slate of four candidates – including its founder, Jon Lansman.

Izzard said it would be his priority to help Corbyn and Labour take the fight to the Conservatives, but he was “not standing for any faction”. He said another key issue would be making the party more welcoming to groups who often feel isolated or excluded from taking part in the political process.

Read more via the Guardian