Eddie Izzard has told people to “join the 21st century” after two MPs made transphobic comments against the comedian.
Earlier this month, Izzard launched her campaign to become the next Labour MP for Sheffield Central and vowed to “take the fight to the Tories and get Keir Starmer into Number 10”.
Speaking on TalkTV earlier this week, Conservative MP Lee Anderson commented on Izzard’s potential impact on the Labour party: “The old traditional working class Labour voters will take a look at Eddie Izzard and think, you know, really? Is that what’s coming to Parliament?”
He added: “If he does get elected and I’m still here, I shan’t be following him into the toilets.”
Labour ideals of fairness and equality have been at the core of my life. I’m standing to be the next Labour MP for Sheffield Central to support the city that has supported me.
Please join me, in taking on this great challenge.https://t.co/aVjaLLga9L
For Sheffield. For Labour. pic.twitter.com/Mw6xK7cBXA
— Eddie Izzard for Sheffield Central (@EddieIzzardLab) October 11, 2022
Speaking in London last Friday (October 21), Labour MP Rosie Duffield was asked about the possibility of misgendering someone becoming a hate crime, where she replied (via MailOnline): “Is that a serious thing? Is that coming to Parliament any time soon? I hope not because you might as well arrest me now. I’m not calling Eddie Izzard a woman.”
Izzard has since responded in an interview with the PA news agency, where she explained that she was “going to ignore” the comments and “carry on”.
“Join the 21st century,” Izzard said. “Trans people exist. I exist. Transphobic attitudes come from all different quarters, unfortunately.”
Addressing the comments directly, she added: “Some people aren’t up to speed, some people haven’t joined the 21st century and, well, they’ve got to get on the bus now because I’ve been out for so long now that I don’t know why they didn’t bring this up before.
“I suppose it’s different because I’m going for a parliamentary seat. I just don’t think bullying is a great thing to be happening, so I’m just going to ignore it and carry on.”
Izzard’s campaign to become a Labour MP for Sheffield comes after current MP Paul Blomfield confirmed he would be standing down at the next election. The next general election is scheduled for January 2025, unless an earlier one is called.
Earlier this month, Izzard appeared in a video in support of Sheffield venue The Leadmill, as it potentially faces closure from new management.