EXCLUSIVE: Hugh Grant explains why he came to Sussex to continue election campaign

"As a father of five children, I want to save the country from catastrophe."

Hugh Grant campaigning alongside Labour candidate for Crawley, Peter Lamb. Photo: Steve Robards
Hugh Grant campaigning alongside Labour candidate for Crawley, Peter Lamb. Photo: Steve Robards

Those were the words of Hugh Grant, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning actor, who continued his General Election campaign in Crawley yesterday (Saturday, December 7).

These are the candidates standing to be Crawley’s MP at the 2019 General ElectionThe star of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually made a guest appearance at the Langley Green Centre, where he was talking to Labour supporters ahead of the General Election.

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In an interview with the Observer, Hugh said: "In previous years, I haven't taken very much of an active part but I think this one is very different. It is an emergency.”

There was a large audience as Hugh Grant continued his election campaign in Crawley. Photo: Steve Robards

Hugh is campaigning for a party he believes has the best chance to stop the Tories remaining in power and raised fears about the country leaving the EU and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

He lent his support to Crawley Labour candidate Peter Lamb as the constituency has long been a Tory Labour marginal. He praised councillor Lamb as an ‘excellent candidate’ and suggested it would only take a small share of voters to switch from Lib Dems to oust Conservative incumbent Henry Smith, who has represented the area since 2010.

He added: "If that happens all over the country. If people are prepared to lend their normal vote, hold their nose and vote for a party they wouldn't normally vote for, you can save the country from catastrophe.

"Everyone has been very nice and receptive to the idea. There have been huge contrasts.

"Campaigning for independent councillor Dominic Grieve in Beaconsfield at a coffee morning was a bit different than campaigning for Faiza Shaheen, Labour candidate in Chingford but I have kind of enjoyed it.

"It is good to get out there and meet people. Maybe the whole thing is completely useless but I just think that on Thursday, whatever the result is, I will feel better for having tried."

On his experience in Sussex, the film star added: "My family on my mother's side are Sussex people so I am very comfortable down here."

Having spoken first to members of the public, Hugh explained that he does not have a preferred political party. He continued: "I'm not anything. What I am is a bloke in a panic about the precipice we stand on in this country and I don't think this general election is like any other we've had in this country.

"The situation is grave. I have five children and I'm worried for them.

"I think I have to do everything I possibly can to stop the country from falling over the edge of that precipice.

"That is the message of this election. It is not about political purity, it is about saving the country from a catastrophe.

"We've got to get the young out [voting]."

Meanwhile, in the past week, councillor Smith, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Crawley, said accusations that the party will sell off the NHS are 'fundamentally untrue'.

He said: "Conservative governments have been successfully running our NHS for 44 of its 71 years, and absolutely believe it must be there for everyone in the country to rely on free at the point of use.

“By keeping our economy strong, we’ve been able to support our NHS since 2010, with services returning to Crawley after Labour’s cuts.

“As well as getting Brexit done a majority Conservative government will get on with bringing the change people voted for, including giving the NHS its biggest cash boost in history of an extra £33.9 billion, and making sure this funding gets to our hospitals as well as increased GP appointments capacity.”

In Crawley, Iain Dickson is standing for the Green Party, whilst Khalil Yousuf is standing for the Lib Dems.