In 2010, Ross Kemp appeared in a party political broadcast urging the public to vote for Labour in the General Election. In this, the EastEnders actor, who plays Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera, warned the nation against voting for David Cameron:
‘It only takes around 60 seconds to cast your vote. 60 seconds to protect the economy, 60 seconds to protect your jobs, 60 seconds to protect the services your family relies on.
And a lot is at stake during those 60 seconds, David Cameron and George Osborne would cut child credits and tax funds. They would put police numbers and schools at risk. With George Osborne at the helm, we would risk driving us straight back into recession by taking billions out of the economy at the wrong time.’
While Kemp went on to help campaign for Labour once again in the 2015 election, don’t expect to see the actor doing the same come 2020. It seems that Jeremy Corbyn is a step too far for even Kemp. In an interview with Michael Buerk, the Labour darling is described as ‘wincing’ when the interviewer mentions Corbyn. Kemp is then quoted as saying that he does not believe in the Labour leader’s politics:
‘When I ask about Jeremy Corbyn he winces. “Oh God!” Pressed, he says, carefully: “He’s a very bright man, but I don’t believe in his politics.”‘
Instead, Kemp is now a fan of David Cameron — the man he previously told the public not to vote for:
‘I think he’s done an incredible job as Prime Minister. Especially over the EU. People are knocking his deal but in the past it would have been hailed as an overwhelming success.’
Kemp’s defection will no doubt come as a blow to the party given the effort previous Labour leaders have gone to to try and win the backing of EastEnders stars. In 2014, Ed Miliband attempted to woo Danny Dyer — who plays Mick Carter in the soap — by telling him what a fan of the show he was. Alas it later transpired that Miliband hadn’t actually watched EastEnders — he had simply read about it online.