Sir Ian gets politically active

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

SIR Ian is sinking his teeth into the political debate.

The Lord of the Rings star, who grew up in Wigan, hosted an event last night in London calling for a new government to bring the NHS back to its founding principles.

Such initiatives cost little, yet help make the world a better, safer place for us all

Sir Ian McKellen

Under the name of Bring Back the NHS, he will present an evening of talks aimed at encouraging next month’s election candidates to do more to help the health service as it faces a cash crisis and mounting pressures.

A statement from organisers read: “Over the last few decades, the NHS has been shaken to its core and its founding principles fundamentally challenged. With the election round the corner, it’s time to understand how the NHS has been gradually eroded, celebrate the people who work for it, and remember the incredible good it does every day.”

And the openly gay actor has praised the Labour party’s commitment to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights, following the manifesto launch in Brighton on Tuesday.

Strengthening laws to tackle hate crimes, appointing an LGBT rights envoy and reforming the system for gay asylum seekers are all among the promises. He said: “I am impressed by the aims and commitments of Labour’s manifesto for LGBT people, particularly the appointment of Michael Cashman (co-founder of leading LGBT rights charity Stonewall), as an international LGBT Rights Envoy. Such initiatives cost little, yet help make the world a better, safer place for us all.”