BRITISH ELECTION

Cameron calls comedian Russell Brand ‘a joke’ in jibe at Miliband

Prime minister mocks opposition leader Ed Miliband for meeting activist and comedian Russell Brand, who has advised followers against voting

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2015, 10:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 8:59pm
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David Cameron has said he has no time to "hang out" with the "joke" Russell Brand as he mocked Ed Miliband's decision to record an interview with the well-known comedian.

The prime minister acknowledged left-wing Brand was funny but said he was focusing on the more important tasks of promoting Britain's economic recovery.

The Labour leader was seen leaving Brand's London home and recording studios on Monday evening, raising speculation the comedian could be considering endorsing him.

A Labour spokesman said Miliband was there to film an interview and that the party was looking forward to it being broadcast. Brand has more than 9.5 million followers on Twitter, runs his own YouTube channel and has previously urged his followers on the left not to vote.

Speaking in Enfield, north London, the prime minister said: "As for Russell Brand, I profoundly disagree. He says don't vote. That is his whole view: don't vote, it will only encourage them - or something.

"He is funny. Right? It's funny, but you know politics and life and elections and jobs and the economy - it's not a joke. Russell Brand is a joke. Ed Miliband hangs out with Russell Brand - he is a joke. This is not funny. This is about the election.

"This is about our future, this is about jobs, about the economy, it is about the recovery. I haven't got time to hang out with Russell Brand. This is more important. These are real people. They are what the election is all about."

Miliband countered Cameron's remarks by saying he would go anywhere in order to challenge those who say voting does not make a difference.

Speaking in South Wales, he said: "I will tell you what is a joke is saying this election is about leadership and then refusing to debate. I am surprised by David Cameron, I just think he is totally out of touch.

"Some people have said this campaign is boring so I have decided to make it more interesting.

"The serious point to this is as follows: there are millions of people … who are not looking at this election, who are not listening to this election, and think voting does not make a difference."

The interview raised speculation that the comedian could be considering endorsing Miliband. It is thought that Brand is not registered to vote, so if he were to endorse the Labour leader, it would represent a sharp U-turn.

An endorsement from Brand might be a mixed blessing for Miliband, but the fact that the Labour leader was willing to go to his home to discuss politics suggests he thinks it might be a risk worth taking as he seeks to persuade the young to vote on May 7.

He was photographed leaving Brand's flat in Shoreditch, east London, and getting into his official car surrounded by aides. A neighbour who lives opposite took the photo, and the picture spread on Twitter.