Police won’t investigate Tory MP Lee Anderson over transphobic Eddie Izzard comments

Lee Anderson and Eddie Izzard

Tory MP Lee Anderson won’t be investigated by police for his transphobic comments about Labour candidate Eddie Izzard.

Ashfield councillor David Hennigan reported Anderson to the police and to the Conservative Party after he attacked Izzard in an interview on TalkTV. 

Anderson repeatedly misgendered Izzard and said he would “not follow [her] into the toilets”, sparking widespread condemnation.

Hennigan, who represents Central Sutton and New Cross on Ashfield District Council, said he believed comments made by the Ashfield Tory MP were a “clear-cut” hate crime.

But the Met Police has told PinkNews they will not be investigating the MP as “no offences have been identified”.

A Met spokesperson said: “On Thursday, 27 October we received a complaint in relation to comments made during a television interview given on College Green, Westminster on Wednesday, 26 October.

“The complaint has been assessed and no offences have been identified. As a result no further action will be taken.”
In his TalkTV interview, Anderson referred to Izzard as “he” and “that”, and said: “I think [Labour] have got 51 per cent of their MPs now, in parliament, are females. 

“Now, if Eddie Izzard gets elected, I don’t know whether that increases or decreases the percentage.” 

“And you know what, the old traditional working class Labour voters will take a look at Eddie Izzard and think, y’know, is that what’s coming to parliament?

“I’m going to be honest now, controversial as always, if he does get elected and I’m still here, I shouldn’t be following him into the toilets.”

‘It is appalling’

Councillor Hennigan said Anderson “overstepped the mark”, adding: “People in Ashfield are quite rightly disgusted by the continued controversies caused by Lee Anderson.

“He has the morals of a 1970 working man’s club comedian. It is appalling and I believe his comments constitute a hate crime. It is clear-cut. It should be investigated.”

The disgruntled councillor said he doesn’t share Izzard’s politics but “she should not be vilified and bullied for having the ambition to be a Labour MP”.

“Politics can be and should be better than this,” he added.

The councillor has reported Anderson to the Met Police, Conservative chair Nadhim Zahawi, and asked Craig Guilford, the chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, to investigate. 

A photo of comedian and actor Eddie Izzard attending the London premiere of David Bowie biopic Moonage Daydream

Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is campaigning to be Labour MP for Sheffield. (Getty Images/Dave J Hogan)

It follows Labour candidates in Sheffield coming together to support Izzard, who has been battered by “vitriolic abuse” since announcing her bid to become to Labour candidate for Sheffield Central in October.

There has been heavy criticism of Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who reportedly said she would rather be arrested than call Izzard a woman.

Amid the anti-trans backlash, Izzard has addressed misinformation about her campaign with grace.