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Campaigner Izzard condemns scuffles

Published 04/05/2015

Eddie Izzard joined the Labour election campaign in Scotland
Eddie Izzard joined the Labour election campaign in Scotland

Eddie Izzard has hit out at "violent" and "aggressive" nationalist protesters as scuffles broke out when he campaigned in Scotland with Labour's Jim Murphy.

The cross-dressing comedian teamed up with the Scottish Labour leader in the centre of Glasgow this morning.

But protesters, some waving SNP leaflets, attempted to drown them out, branding Mr Murphy a "traitor" and a "warmongerer"

Scuffles broke out as the protesters disrupted the event, chanting "Red Tories out" at the Scottish Labour leader.

Mr Murphy said: " This sort of aggressive nationalism should have no place in our election.

"We've got a few days until we can kick David Cameron out of office, a few days to change our country forever and we won't be silenced by this form of aggressive nationalism, it's anti-democratic."

He added: " This isn't the type of Scotland we want, Scotland, the Labour Party and the people of Scotland are much better than this sort of aggressive nationalism.

"On Thursday we'll stand up to this anti-democratic street nationalism, and get David Cameron out of office with a vote for the Labour Party."

Izzard said: "It's OK having different opinions, but everyone should be able to put their opinion forward. This aggressive, this violent emotion, why violence? Don't have violence, we should just put our point of view forward and then everyone makes their choice on Thursday."

The comedian, who was wearing a dark skirt suit with a red rosette, added: " This is democracy, it's all about voting. They should let the democratic process happen, it's called democracy, we're putting forward a point of view, we're asking people to vote Labour and they're scared of these words being heard.

"Why are they scared of that? Let everyone have their say. It's called democracy."

Izzard told how he had volunteered to come north and campaign with Mr Murphy ahead of running for election in 2020 - either as an MP or for Mayor of London.

"We want to get the Tories out," he said.

"If you vote for Labour we can get the Tories out on Thursday."

He told how he had campaigned for Ed Miliband's party in "57 different constituencies around the United Kingdom" in the run up to Thursday's General Election

Izzard said: "The Tories are hoping and praying that people might vote in Scotland for the SNP because then David Cameron will cling on to power."

He told the audience that gathered in Glasgow's St Enoch Square: " He wants to cling on to power, you can get the Tories out, Scotland can get the Tories out. If you vote for Labour the Tories will be gone in just four days."

He continued: " I don't mind all the waves of hatred that come from the nationalists towards me, I don't care about that, because we are still people from the United Kingdom, I am very proud to be in Scotland.

"I say to you go out, use your vote, vote for Labour, get the Tories out of government."

As demonstrators shouted at Izzard and Mr Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader told them: "T his is our country too. No nationalists will silence us, nationalism will never silence the voice of democratic socialism."

He insisted: " Change is coming to the north and south, east and west, change can come with the Labour Party.

"We want to end foodbanks in the east end of Glasgow, but we also want to end those foodbanks in the east end of London, the east end of Manchester, the east end of Cardiff.

"So we won't be silenced and we won't be intimidated."

He also hit out at SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who has been on a helicopter tour of key constituencies.

Mr Murphy said: " Maybe we don't have a helicopter. We do our campaigning on the bus, we do our campaigning on the train and we do it on the streets."

Meanwhile the First Minister denied accusations from the SNP's opponents that Scottish nationalist MPs at Westminster would cause chaos by voting down a Labour budget if it did not include measures to end austerity.

The SNP leader was speaking on a campaign visit to Kirkcaldy where she met activists and shoppers in the town's High Street.

She said: "We know that minority government works because we've proven it in Scotland.

"If Labour in government put forward a budget that was delivering more cuts that were harming people, of course the SNP wouldn't vote for that.

"That wouldn't bring down the government but it would mean that the government had to go away and rethink its budget and come back with a better one, one that protected the National Health Service and tackled poverty and invested in our economy and that's the value of having a big, strong SNP voice in the House of Commons.

"We can use that voice to get better policies that make life better for people across Scotland and I would argue across the UK as well."

As her helicopter tour of Scotland continued, Ms Sturgeon appealed to voters "in every corner of the country" to unite behind her party.

She said: "This is an opportunity for Scotland to really make its voice heard in this election and my message goes to people regardless of how they voted in the referendum, even if they've never voted SNP before, people in rural Scotland, urban Scotland, island Scotland, highland and lowland, in every part of Scotland."

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