Trans comedian Eddie Izzard has officially launched her campaign for Britain’s parliament, running to be named the Labour Party candidate for Sheffield Central MP. If she is nominated, Izzard could be well poised to become the first out trans person elected to parliament.
She first expressed her desire to run in August, when Sheffield’s current MP, Paul Blomfield, announced that he would be stepping down. “Paul has done sterling work, you hear on the doorstep how much he is admired for the hard work he has done,” Izzard, who regularly canvases for the Labour Party, told BBC News. Blomfield’s seat will be up for vote in the 2025 general election.
Izzard has now issued a formal statement and campaign video to announce her bid for Sheffield Central MP.
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
“Sheffield has a proud history, showing grit and determination in overcoming adversities and it was the wit and generosity of the people of this city that made me feel welcome when I first arrived in 1980 – the year the Leadmill opened,” she said, referring to the long-standing music venue.
Izzard studied accounting at the University of Sheffield in the 80s, but she also credited her time in the city with inspiring her creative career. Over time, she has become involved in local politics, most recently campaigning against the closure of the Leadmill.
“I’m standing to be the next Labour MP for Sheffield Central to support the city that has supported me. To take the fight to the Tories and get Keir Starmer into Number 10,” Izzard said.
She goes on to call out the Conservative Party, saying, “Twelve years of Tory rule has told Sheffield that its voice doesn’t matter.” But through the Labour Party, she plans to bring out Sheffield’s “true potential.” “Labour ideals of fairness and equality have been at the core of my life,” Izzard said. “Opportunities that began right here in Sheffield have encouraged me to travel the world, performing in four languages, in forty-five countries, bringing people together. Because I believe in making connections, not breaking connections.”
In particular, Izzard explains that she wants to be a voice in parliament for improved schooling, healthcare, fair wages, and climate justice. “Oh yes and I happen to be trans,” she concludes her inspiring speech.
Bridgend MP Jamie Wallis became the first trans parliament member when he came out in March, two years after being elected. Since Labour has not yet begun its selection process for Blomfield’s replacement, Izzard has a fighting chance at becoming the first person elected to parliament while openly trans.