Eddie Izzard has called on Labour to “stamp out the stain of antisemitism” as he replaced a senior party official embroiled in a row over Holocaust “hoax” claims.
The comedian will take a key seat on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) following the resignation of Christine Shawcroft, a left-wing ally of Jeremy Corbyn, who said she was stepping down as her membership had become a “distraction”.
Ms Shawcroft quit as chair of Labour’s disputes panel last week after it emerged she had opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of posting a Facebook article describing the Holocaust as a “hoax”. She then had to stand stand down from the NEC on Saturday following intense criticism from Labour MPs and peers.
Mr Izzard was the second most popular candidate in the election for a seat on the NEC and he will hold Ms Shawcroft’s seat until the next election in the summer.
The political activist said: “Although this isn’t the manner in which I had hoped to join the NEC I’m honoured to step up and represent Labour members at the heart of our party.
“This is a very important time for the Labour Party and we must stamp out completely the stain of anti-Semitism from a minority of members. It has no place in our party.
“I have campaigned against hate my whole life and will continue to do so wherever it rears its ugly head.