Ed Miliband has been snapped leaving Russell Brand’s flat. The comedian and activist has recently praised Miliband on his programme The Trews after the Labour leader’s appearance in the televised debates.
It came in stark contrast to Brand’s previous criticisms of politicians and the political process. Writing in the New Statesman, Brand said:
I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites. Billy Connolly said: “Don’t vote, it encourages them,” and, “The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.”
The essay provoked weeks of debate, with the comedian Robert Webb rebuking Brand and making the case for voting in an open letter. But word reaches the Mole that Brand is preparing to renounce his non-voting ways to endorse Labour. Brand’s endorsement might go some way to blunting the SNP surge in Scotland – Brand endorsed a Yes vote in the referendum – and drawing back voters from the Greens.
By associating himself with the controversial comedian, who is a hate figure for much of the right-wing press, Miliband risks days of angry headlines. But, given that millions made the same choice as Brand at the last election – deciding not to turn out on polling day – the Labour leader appears to have decided the high-risk strategy is worth trying.
Miliband himself has defended his decision to be interviewed by Brand:
Russell Brand has released a trailer of his interview with Ed Miliband. The full chat will be released tomorrow.