Students should vote for Ken Livingstone in the London Mayoral Elections, comedian and actor Eddie Izzard urged last night.
Izzard said that Livingstone, the Labour candidate for Mayor of London, would cut transport costs and bring back further education funding for young people if elected.
He was speaking to around 40 students at the outdoor event, which was hosted by Goldsmiths College in New Cross, Lewisham.
The comedian said that Livingstone would save Londoners “£1,000 over the next four years” by reducing travel fares from October 2012.
He added: “Ken will bring the fares down, you may have heard that there isn’t any money in the transport budget, but there is money in the budget and Ken will make happen because he’s a good administrator.”
Izzard also told students about Livingstone’s pledge to bring back the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16-18 year-olds going into further education in London if he becomes mayor. He also encouraged students to “drag friends along” to the mayoral elections, in which around 5.7 million are eligible to vote.
EastLondonLines reported on the government’s decision to cut EMA in January last year, which affected over 14,000 young people in East and South East London.
Izzard said that in eight years he would be running to become either the Mayor of London or an MP, but continue to cross-dress even if elected.
Izzard told EastLondonLines that mixing comedy and politics is “very interesting.” He added: “You have to talk seriously about the things that are affecting people and you have to put comedy into talk about Boris Johnson or the Tory party, or it can be self-depreciating humour as well.”
When EastLondonLines asked Izzard for his favourite Boris Johnson joke, he replied: “Boris Johnson”.
Goldsmiths Labour Students, a society affiliated with the national Labour Students organisation, hosted the ‘intimate’ outdoor event.
Eric Vincent, chair of Goldsmiths’ Labour Students, helped organise the event after being given five days notice. He told EastLondonLines: “It was great to have Eddie Izzard, who is a very prominent supporter of the Labour Party, and a world famous comedian, at Goldsmiths, to listen to what he had to say about Labour and his own career. We like to bring big people like that to Goldsmiths.”
The comedian is well known for completing 43 marathons in 51 days for charity and for appearing in a number of Hollywood films, including the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen.
Speaking about his career and his marathon running, Izzard told students that “anything is possible if you want to do it”, while advising them to choose careers in things they feel passionate about.
The London Mayoral Elections will run on May 3. The three main candidates for the elections are Ken Livingstone for Labour, the current Mayor of London and conservative, Boris Johnston and Liberal Democratic, Brian Paddick.