Conference blog: Eddie Izzard and Hazel Blears vs the BNP

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The Daily Mirror/Searchlight’s Evening of Hope event last night was sprinkled with a bit of showbiz glitz when comedian Eddie Izzard made an appearance.

The HOPE NOT HATE campaign from the Mirror and Searchlight is designed to stop the racist, homophobic BNP from gaining support.

Former Deputy Leadership candidate Jon Cruddas was there, and he told that there is a serious chance the BNP could win a seat in next year’s Euro elections.

“It’s really important that people go out and vote,” he said.

Among the guests were former Health Secretary Frank Dobson, a whole brace of senior union leaders and Cabinet minister Hazel Blears.

She told the assembled throng that “every single vote counts” next year if the BNP is to be prevented from taking seats in the European parliament.

“UKIP did very well in the 2004 elections, but their issues aren’t really top of the agenda this time. There is a chance Nick Griffin (BNP leader) may win a seat and the London UKIP MEP could well lose out,” one disheartened Labourite told

“Turnout in Euro elections is always dire as it is, and they are usually used as a referendum on the government.”

This evening Harriet Harman is scheduled to speak at the Stonewall fringe event – we can expect her to be tackled over the recent deportations of gay asylum seekers back to countries where they could face violence and even death because of their sexuality.