A Tory MP has been accused of being a ‘playground bully’ for saying he would ‘not follow’ Eddie Izzard into the Parliament toilets.
Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, made the remarks about the trans comedian in a Talk TV interview today.
Anderson told the show: ‘I think Labour have got 51% of their MPs now, in parliament, are females.
‘Now, if Eddie Izzard gets elected, I don’t know whether that increases or decreases the percentage.
Misgendering Izzard, he added: ‘Because I’m not sure what [she’s] all about, Keir Starmer’s not sure what [she’s] all about.
‘And you know what, the old traditional working-class Labour voters will take a look at Eddie Izzard and think, y’know, really?
‘Is that what’s coming to Parliament? I think it opens a whole new debate, mate.
‘I’m going to be honest now, controversial as always, if [she] does get elected and I’m still here, I shouldn’t be following [her] into the toilets.’
Anderson shared the interview on his Facebook, writing: ‘Calling The Nonsense Out. Somebody had to say it.’
Izzard has faced a firestorm of transphobic abuse since she launched her bid to become Labour MP for Sheffield.
Gay MP Chris Bryant told the Guardian: ‘Eddie is more than capable of defending herself and has run more marathons for charity than this chap could ever manage.
But what I don’t understand is why playground bullies always think they are God’s gift to humanity and that LGBT folk are just waiting to pounce on them in the loo.
‘Talk about delusional!’
While an unnamed Conservative MP told the newspaper that Anderson’s remarks were ‘vile and disgusting’.
Izzard threw her hat into the ring after Sheffield’s current MP, Paul Blomfield, confirmed he was standing down.
She is now one of six on the longlist scrambling for the Labour safe seat, with a single candidate expected to be announced in November.
Izzard has been endorsed by the Musicians’ Union as well as actor Russel Crowe who tweeted: ‘Go on, Eddie. No brighter mind, no bigger heart.’
But whether she will be offered a place on the all-women shortlists became a fixation among anti-trans groups.
Izzard issued a statement on Tuesday clarifying that, no, she’s never asked or been offered a place on an all-women shortlist.
‘This has been a position that I have held since joining the Labour Party in 1995. I have never changed my position on this and never asked anyone to change the position for me now,’ she said.
Sheffield, she said, welcomed her campaign with open arms. But she knew her leap into politics wouldn’t get this reaction from everyone.
‘I knew my candidacy would be questioned by a few. I expected that,’ she said.
‘Debate is good and it’s healthy in a democracy. But so are facts. I am trans but I am not seeking to be selected on an All Women Shortlist.’
Metro.co.uk contacted Lee Anderson’s office for comment.
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