Is Eddie Izzard planning to stand as a Labour MP in Sheffield? Rumours grow as comic hits campaign trail again

Eddie Izzard has been spending a lot of time in Sheffield lately, fuelling rumours she plans to stand as an MP in the city.

By Robert Cumber
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 3:14 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 11:21 am
Eddie Izzard in Walkley, Sheffield, showing her support for Labour's South Yorkshire mayoral candidate Oliver Coppard (pic: @benmiskell/Twitter)
Eddie Izzard in Walkley, Sheffield, showing her support for Labour's South Yorkshire mayoral candidate Oliver Coppard (pic: @benmiskell/Twitter)

The comic showed her support for The Leadmill earlier this month by performing a couple of special shows there, and took the opportunity to join Labour councillors and candidates on the campaign trail while in the city.

Eddie was out canvassing again on Saturday in Walkley, where she joined the party’s South Yorkshire mayoral candidate Oliver Coppard and council hopeful Tom Hunt, and even found time to pop into a St George’s Day fun day at the Walkley Cottage pub.

It’s understood she joined campaigners again today in Broomhill, where Alison Norris is vying to become a councillor.

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And with Eddie due to perform her show Wunderbar+ at Sheffield City Hall this Wednesday, April 27, with profits being donated to food banks in the area, she will have further opportunity to show her support for the Labour party in Sheffield.

With Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield set to stand down at the next general election, there is speculation Eddie sees it as the perfect opportunity to join Labour’s ranks in parliament.

The constituency was a marginal one when Mr Blomfield first took it in 2010, holding off Liberal Democrat Paul Scriven by just 165 votes, but he has made it one of the safest Labour seats, increasing his majority to 27,273 in 2019.

One political insider, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Eddie’s interested in becoming an MP and her renewed interest in the city might not be unconnected with that, but I’m sure she will be looking at other seats around the country too.”

Another person close to the Labour party, who also wished to remain unnamed, said Eddie is ‘interested in seeing the lay of the land’ when it comes to potentially standing in Sheffield.

And a third figure within the party said: “I hear she’s very interested in running for Sheffield Central. That’s clearly why she’s here. But it’s quite a dream of a seat and I imagine lots of people will put their name forward.”

Should Eddie wish to stand in Sheffield, she could have a fight on her hands, with Firth Park ward councillor Abtisam Mohamed believed to be the early front-runner, and one insider saying Labour has a long track record of picking local people to stand for parliament in Sheffield.

Eddie Izzard has made no secret of her political ambitions.

Speaking in 2020, she said: “I want to be a Member of Parliament. I was trying to get in at the last election. I absolutely, definitely want to get in at a by-election or at the next general election.”

She added: “We need to be heading towards a more positive future, so I will fight for that.”

Eddie is no stranger to Sheffield, having attended the University of Sheffield in the early 80s, where she studied accountancy and financial management with mathematics before dropping out to pursue her career in comedy.

She was awarded an honorary degree in 2006, and in 2010 was made honorary president of Sheffield Students’ Union.

She has spoken of her fondness for the city, which is where she first came out as transgender to a friend.

“I like Sheffield. Do I love Sheffield? I think I almost do. It really means something to me,” she said in an interview with the university.

The Star has attempted to contact Eddie Izzard.