World-renowned actor, comedian, marathon runner and activist, Eddie Izzard, was in Bedford this morning, campaigning in Castle ward with Labour’s Mohammad Yasin.
The Bedford Independent was invited to meet the team as they knocked on doors to talk to voters ahead of Thursday’s general election.
Eddie is volunteering to support Labour candidates around the country, particularly in marginal seats like Bedford.
“That’s where the fights are, there’s no point fighting a safe seat,” he said.
“I am in Bedford – and glad to be in Bedford because I did a really good gig here many years ago – to support Mohammad Yasin.
“I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1995 and I volunteer to go out around the country and it’s a straight Tory/Labour fight here. Mohammad got in last time and he wants to do more.”
“Just before I got elected we lost some key services from Bedford Hospital to Luton and the challenge I faced was to keep the services of A&E and maternity at Bedford,” added Bedford & Kempston candidate, Mohammad Yasin.
“I worked with the local council and colleagues, kept the pressure on the government and asked the question of the Prime Minister and we managed to keep those key services in Bedford.
“I want to continue to do that because we need a bigger hospital, proper investment in A&E and other wards.”
During our interview, two hecklers yelled, ‘get Brexit done’ from the nearby barber shop.
“I think that’s Boris Johnson,” said Eddie. “His new tactic is just shouting out of shops at people.”
“I believe Brexit is bad for the country. People want better jobs and by separating from Europe it’s just going to make things really hard. They said £350m a week was going to go into the NHS and that was what I think we call a lie and I think Boris Johnson has lied before and continues to do so.
“The young people today think that older people have voted away their futures. The Labour Party is going to put it to a referendum, a proper referendum, now we know much more about it, what a nightmare it is going into Brexit, so that’s what the Labour Party are putting forward.
“52% to 48% is not a mandate for a hard and vicious Brexit and a hard vicious Brexit for our country does not help our people.”
“One of the key issues is the National Health Service; do people trust Boris Johnson with the NHS? We know, it’s proved in the documents, that he’s very happy to sell it off to America, privatising the NHS – that is something the people of Britain do not want.
“If you care about the environment, the NHS, you can’t trust Boris on anything.”
Here in Bedford, housing is also a key issue.
“If you can remember, the Tories promised that they would build 200,000 new starter homes and they didn’t even build one,” said Mohammad Yasin.
“We will build 1m new houses including thousands of social housing because the people in this country are not earning enough money to buy the houses that are available.”