Eddie Izzard runs for place on Labour Party's governing body for second time

Updated: 

Eddie Izzard has launched a fresh bid to join Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC).

The comedian, who failed to win a place on the Labour Party's governing body in 2016, said he is "not standing for any faction" and will focus on the inclusion of underrepresented groups in his campaign.

Issuing a call to end "politics as usual", Izzard said he was "fighting for an open, tolerant party" and is dedicated to supporting Jeremy Corbyn in his effort to become prime minister.

He said: "Being an actor and performing stand-up is what I do for a living, but being an activist has been part of me for a long time.

Eddie Izzard
Eddie Izzard is supporting Jeremy Corbyn's bid to become Prime Minister (Rob Stothard/PA)

"I have always fought for the campaigns that I believe in, even when they are unpopular or I've been advised against it.

"I came out in 1985, joined the Labour Party in 1995 and I have now campaigned for LGBT rights, for the Labour Party, for Europe and have run marathons for charities for many years.

"I have campaigned against racists and fascists all over our country and around the world and I want all of our members to feel welcome in the Labour Party."

The NEC consists of the Labour leader, deputy leader, frontbenchers, trade union representatives, constituency party representatives, councillors and members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Eddie Izzard and Jack Dromey
Eddie Izzard and Labour's Jack Dromey pose for a selfie (Matthew Cooper/PA)

The comedian hopes to be elected to one of three additional seats that were created for the NEC at the Labour conference in September.

Izzard missed out on a seat during a round of elections in August 2016 when he ran as an independent candidate, coming eighth.

The ballot saw six left-leaning candidates join the committee, seen by many as a boost for Mr Corbyn.

Announcing his fresh bid, Izzard said: "Most importantly I want to do all I can to help Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party take the fight to the Tories, building on our strong performance in the 2017 general election.

"We need a party that builds on the energy of the past few years and harnesses it to create the tolerant, open movement that Britain needs."