Sunday 22 September 2019

Letter to former Labour leader reveals Stephen Fry’s political ambitions

The correspondence suggests the comedian had ambitions to join Neil Kinnock in Parliament.

Stephen Fry offered his services to the Labour Party (Stuart C Wilson/PA)
Stephen Fry offered his services to the Labour Party (Stuart C Wilson/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Stephen Fry once toyed with the idea of becoming an MP under a Neil Kinnock premiership.

The writer and actor also pleaded with the former Labour leader, telling him: “Jesus, Britain needs you in Downing Street.”

A letter from Fry to Kinnock from the early 1990s suggests the comedian had ambitions to join the former leader of the opposition in Parliament.

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Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock received a warm letter from Fry (Jane Barlow/PA)

The correspondence was sent by Fry after he dined at the Kinnocks’ home, according to a new book.

In the letter, he wrote: “If I can be of any help on the trail I’ll do what I can, natch.

“Looking ahead to your second premiership, I am seriously considering the possibility that you may well have me behind you on the Government benches in 1995/6 and giving your whips headaches.”

In the end, Kinnock lost the 1992 general election to Sir John Major, and no Labour government, or political career for Fry, emerged.

From his letter, which forms part of the new book by Dr Richard Carr of Anglia Ruskin University, Fry appears delighted by Kinnock.

He writes: “A politician who listens? Who can laugh at himself? With a spouse who has a mind and soul of her own? Roll on March/April.”

He added: “I’m glad we talked about what you think of ‘celeb’ appearance. If something occurs which will require a good use of a face then, given a fair following wind, I’m at the party’s service.”

The revelations about Fry’s pledge of support to Kinnock and the Labour Party are found in March Of The Moderates, by Dr Carr.

Representatives of Fry have been contacted for comment.

PA Media

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