Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he regrets giving an interview to Russell Brand after spate of allegations are levied against the comedian.
Mr Miliband appeared on Brand's YouTube series, The Trews, in an effort to mobilise young voters ahead of the 2015 General Election after the actor had become outspoken about his apathy towards Westminster.
Asked about the interview at an event on Wednesday the now Labour shadow net zero secretary, said “I regret doing it” but stressed he felt “duty bound” to counter comments Brand had made about the lack of impact in voting.
He said: “I think the allegations that have come to light are horrific and my solidarity is with the women who have come forward to tell their stories.
“I did lots of interviews during that campaign. Russell Brand was going round saying people shouldn’t vote.
“I went and did an interview on his programme because I wanted young people to get out and vote. But obviously knowing what I know now, obviously I regret doing it.”
Brand has been accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013 when he was working for the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films, following a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
He has strongly denied the allegations.
Put to him that some would say that agreeing to an interview with Brand showed a lack of judgment, former opposition leader Mr Miliband replied: “Look, hindsight is a wonderful thing. As I say, I did lots and lots of interviews.
“This was someone who was gaining notoriety at that point for saying to people, ‘Do not vote because it will make no difference’.
“And I felt duty-bound, if there was an opportunity to do so, to say to young people in particular, who he was targeting… that it would make a difference.”
Mr Miliband would go on to lose the 2015 general election, with the Conservatives securing a surprise majority.
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