Comedian Steve Coogan – best known for alter ego Alan Partridge – will be supporting Chester Labour parliamentary candidate Chris Matheson at a soapbox style rally taking place in Town Hall Square this teatime (Tuesday, May 30).
The famous Mancunian will address passersby on a PA system.
Mr Coogan, who was a victim of phone hacking, is supporting the Labour candidate in part because of his work on the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Committee in scrutinising the conduct and ethics of the national press.
The prominent campaigner with the Hacked Off group said: “Not only has Chris Matheson been a great supporter the victims of press abuse, he has also been a fantastic constituency MP.
“Chris is widely recognised as one of the hardest working MPs in Parliament and never stops talking about Chester. Every time he gets up to speak he talks about this city and the people who live here.
“We need good people in Parliament, to stand up for constituents and to represent all of us on the big issues. That’s why I’m backing Chris, because he’s one of the good ones.”
A statement issued by the Labour Party said: “The second part of the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking was promised by all parties to examine the culture, practices and ethics of the national media.
“However the Tories have pledged in their election manifesto not to cancel the probe and to dismantle the Leveson system agreed in the cross-party agreement on press regulation in 2013. Labour’s manifesto pledges to honour the party’s promises to the victims of press abuse by continuing with Leveson two and bringing the Leveson system into force.”
Chris Matheson commented: “My work on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee is not always the most high profile but the phone hacking scandal was massive and Steve has been one of the most high profile and determined campaigners for justice for the victims.
“The Conservatives are reneging on the commitments they gave to victims such as Milly Dowler’s parents and are wiping the slate clean for their friends in the national media.
“I think the victims of phone hacking need the justice they have been denied. If I am re-elected on the 8th of June then I will continue the fight in support of these victims in Parliament.”
■ From 10am this Thursday (June 1) Eddie Izzard will at Frodsham market supporting Weaver Vale Labour parliamentary candidate Mike Amesbury. Everyone is welcome to go along.