Sir Elton John among stars backing Labour in General Election

Celebrities pledge support for Labour

Sir Elton John among stars backing Labour in General Election

Sir Elton John has led a line-up of celebrities who have announced their support Labour at the general election.

The singer and his husband David Furnish joined actors Kit Harington and James Norton, singer Beverley Knight and businesswoman Deborah Meaden in bringing some stardust to a Labour supporters’ meeting held in the final days before next week’s poll.

Their endorsements of Sir Keir Starmer’s party, sent as video messages, triggered loud applause at the Westminster venue.

Each celebrity spoke of a subject that was close to their hearts as the reason they planned to vote Labour.

Sir Elton, who sat next to his husband Furnish, said in his message: “It’s heartbreaking to see the hopes of Britain’s next generation of creative talent downtrodden and destroyed by bureaucracy and red tape.

“The rich cultural exchange and education that informed my early years and paved the way for my career and success is drying up and in danger of dying out completely.

“And it’s not just the musicians, but the whole team that puts together a tour and the wider industry that relies on emerging talent to thrive in the future.”

He added: “There is only one choice. Let’s help artists cut through the red tape that prevents them from thriving and contributing to this country’s future success. Let’s show the world what a creative, prosperous and forward-thinking nation Britain is.”

Furnish added of the music industry: “It’s madness to treat a hugely successful sector with such disdain, particularly one that has been the envy of the world for decades and contributes billions to the British economy every year, and has given us unrivalled soft power across the globe.”

He believes there is a chance for youngsters to get “a creative education and help young and emerging musicians achieve the routes to success that have been cruelly and pointlessly snatched away from them”.

Support for the arts was also behind comedian and presenter Jason Manford’s message. He said support had been pledged for the arts at a national level and also in schools to help ensure it is “important for children, and I think that is massive”.

Game of Thrones star Harington said he would be voting Labour because he feels they have “a practical plan” that is needed in the face of the climate crisis.

The actor said: “The climate is teetering and we really can’t afford 14 more years of the Tories in action.”

Stage, film and TV actor Norton, who has appeared in Happy Valley, Grantchester, War And Peace and McMafia, said: “I support the Labour Party’s ambition when it comes to making the arts accessible to all children, particularly in regards to their ambitions around the school’s curriculum, reintegrating the arts into kids’ lives”.

Soul singer and Olivier Award-winning actress Knight added: “I support the Labour Party’s ambition to allow all children to pursue their passions in the creative space. Because I was one of those children.”

Meaden said she was “very impressed” with the party’s plan for small businesses.

The Dragons’ Den star said there has been a focus on business rates, skills and clean British energy at a time of energy price fluctuation and a need to do “good” for the environment.

One famous face who was in the room along with more than 300 Labour supporters was comedian Bill Bailey, who joked that the Tories are “preparing for a Liz Truss comeback” and added that “to say they have got a grip of things is an insult to grips and things”.

In his mind, the July 4 vote feels like “the most important election in my lifetime”, he said.

In line with the other rousing speeches from Sir Keir, deputy leader Angela Rayner plus presenter June Sarpong, who acted as host at the event, Bailey urged everyone to press on with campaigning to get the vote out on Thursday.

He said that “these last few days are critical” and that “every vote counts”.

In her video message, TV personality Georgia Harrison said she hoped this would be a time to “to make a difference to violence against women and girls and hopefully combat the misogyny that we’re currently dealing with as a society”.

Sir Keir was given a standing ovation as the evening event ended.

He hugged his wife Victoria and pop music pounded as the audience left with the campaign message that if they want change, they must vote for it, and there is still time to try and gain support.

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