Election 2015

General election 2015: Ben Elton on Labour campaign trail

Ben Elton

Ben Elton has recalled his campaigning for Labour in the 1980s and 1990s as he introduced Ed Miliband at a rally.

The comedian and writer said that in the 1987 election campaign, he and Bill Bragg played gigs in "six important marginals - and lost the lot".

Much of his 1980s stand-up act included anti-Margaret Thatcher jokes.

But he has moved away from politics, writing sitcoms, books and musicals, including one with well-known Conservative peer Lord Lloyd Webber.

That collaboration was one the reasons fellow comedian Mark Steel chose Ben Elton as one of the items he wanted banished to Room 101 in 2007.

As well as his TV and stage jokes directed at the then Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Elton also took part in the Red Wedge music and comedy tour seeking to help secure a Labour victory at the 1987 election.

Earlier this year it was reported that Elton had rejoined and donated to the party he left during the Tony Blair's premiership. In that interview he said that he had in recent years donated to, and voted, Green.

At the rally in Warrington, which also featured long-time celebrity Labour backer Eddie Izzard and Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay, Elton said social mobility in the UK was "shrinking" and claimed many young people today feel they have been "born into a country where the dice have been loaded against them".

Ed Miliband's was not the only party showing celebrity endorsement on Saturday, with former England defender Sol Campbell snapped campaigning for the Conservatives.

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