In Brief

'You've gotta vote Labour': Russell Brand gamble pays off

Cameron dismissed 'Milibrand' as a joke - but Brand’s endorsement is serious for Tories

150429_milibrand.jpg

As predicted, Russell Brand yesterday endorsed Ed Miliband, saying: “This bloke will listen to us”. The comedian urged anyone who doesn’t live in Scotland or Brighton: "You've gotta vote Labour."

As The Guardian reports, Brand went back on his advice that voting is a waste of time because he believed it was important to oust the Conservatives from government.

Releasing a further clip from his ‘Trews’ interview with the Labour leader, Brand commented: “What I heard Ed Miliband say is that if we speak, he will listen. So on that basis, I think we’ve got no choice but to take decisive action to end the danger of the Conservative party.

“David Cameron might think I’m a joke but I don’t think there’s anything funny about what the Conservative party have been doing to this country and we have to stop them.”

The Tory-supporting press agreed with the PM that the interview was a desperate gimmick, while Nigel Farage is quoted today saying: “I’m very pleased Russell Brand hasn’t endorsed me.”

But The Guardian columnist Owen Jones is in no doubt that Brand’s endorsement vindicates Miliband’s decision to take the gamble of being interviewed by the unconventional comedian.

“By 2pm on Monday afternoon more than 1.75 million people had watched either the full Brand interview with Miliband or its trailer,” Jones writes. “For comparison, Cameron’s kitchen interview with the paywall-free SunNation has been watched by just 141,000 people, despite having been available online for much longer.”

Brand, says Jones, has 10 million Twitter followers and is listened to by disillusioned Brits - “particularly young people who have been repeatedly kicked over the last few years”.

The comedian's endorsement will worry Team Cameron, says Jones - not least because during the last six weeks before the deadline, nearly 2.3 million people registered vote, and more than 700,000 of them were 24 or under. 

Footnote: Scots were excluded from Brand's edict because: “If you’re Scottish, you don’t need an English person telling you what to do.” As for the citizens of Brighton, he said: “If you’re in Brighton I think it’d be a travesty if we lost the voice of Caroline Lucas in Westminster; but anywhere else, you’ve gotta vote Labour.”

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