Eddie Izzard hits back at MPs after 'transphobic' comments over Sheffield election bid
Eddie Izzard has told people to "join the 21st century" after two MPs made "transphobic" comments about the comedian, who is campaigning to become a Labour election candidate in Sheffield.
The 60-year-old, who identifies as a woman, launched her bid this month to become the MP for Sheffield Central after the constituency’s incumbent, Paul Blomfield, announced he would be standing down at the next general election.
She has faced a barrage of abuse since launching her campaign and has vowed to "take the fight to the Tories and get Keir Starmer into No 10”.
Izzard, who studied accounting, launched her creative career and carried out local activism in Sheffield, said the city needs "to be bolder, brighter, stronger… on the map".
On Thursday she told PA she has had "a great reaction in the street" during her campaign but a small minority of people have made transphobic comments.
Earlier this week, Conservative MP Lee Anderson said he "would not follow him into the toilets" if she came to Parliament, while Labour MP Rosie Duffield said: "I’m not calling Eddie Izzard a woman."
In response, Izzard said: "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.
"It’s different now that I’m going for a parliamentary seat, but I don’t think bullying is a great thing to be happening and so I’m just going to carry on."
Addressing Ms Duffield’s comments directly, she said: "Transphobic attitudes come from all different quarters, unfortunately."
She added that the Labour MP’s comments did not make her feel unwelcome to run as a candidate for the party, but added: "Again, join the 21st century – trans people exist. I exist."
Izzard said she hopes that being elected will have a "positive impact" for diversity in Parliament and for Sheffield Central itself as she brings her global renown, activism and energy to the constituency.
"The fact that I’m trans is kind of by the by,” she said, adding that she "absolutely" thinks people should be focusing on her policies and vision for Sheffield Central.
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