Celebrities agree to pay for people to travel to major demonstration calling for fresh Brexit referendum
Stars including Delia Smith, Sir Patrick Stewart and Ian McEwan donate money to help lay on free transport for activists
More than 20 household names from the worlds of film, music, comedy, literature and sport have agreed to help pay for people to travel to a major demonstration in support of fresh referendum on Brexit.
Stars including Delia Smith, Sir Patrick Stewart and Ian McEwan are among public figures who have pledged support to help people from their home towns and regions travel to the People's Vote March for the Future on 20 October, which is being organised in conjunction with The Independent.
The march is designed to highlight public support for a Final Say referendum on whatever Brexit deal Theresa May negotiates with Brussels.
Household names including actors, musicians, comedians and sports stars are each donating over £1,000 to sponsor a coach to transport activists to London.
Dozens of coaches have already been booked and campaigners are hoping to announce more celebrity sponsors in the coming days.
The march is expected to be the biggest anti-Brexit protest to date, with crowds likely to exceed the 100,000 people who attended a similar demonstration in London in June.
It comes ahead of a crucial period of Brexit negotiations and amid mounting pressure for the public to be given a Final Say vote.
Stars who have donated money for transport include TV historian Dan Snow and comedian Eddie Izzard, who will both travel on their coaches and take part in the march.
Other sponsors include broadcaster Patrick Kielty, The Thick of It and Veep creator Armando Iannucci, Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan, and singer Olly Alexander.
Mr Alexander said: “I urge young people to turn out in force for the march. This is our future we are talking about, and we have to be able to have a say. The will of the people can change, and I believe it has as we have watched the mess unfold.”
Celebrity cook Delia Smith has also backed calls for a Final Say referendum and is sponsoring a coach called the East Anglia Express.
She said: “I am petrified at the way Brexit is going. I’m afraid the political leaders have made a dog’s dinner of it and none of us really trust them anymore to take final decision - whatever the result the of negotiations.
"That’s why, on October 20, I want to make sure East Anglian voices are heard calling for a People’s Vote in the streets around Westminster.”
Leading names from the world of television and film have also pledged their support. The Truman Show and Designated Survivor actor Natascha McElhone is sponsoring a coach from Brighton and making a campaign video to promote the march.
She said: “I think as the prospect of leaving gets nearer, and so many questions remain unanswered, the desire for a People’s Vote is growing by the day. The people must make their voices heard, and not give in to the fatalism that it is out of their hands.”
And Sir Patrick Stewart, who starred in Star Trek and the X-Men films, is paying for campaigners to travel from his home town of Huddersfield.
He said: “When the People’s Vote campaign was launched, it was dismissed as impossible. But everyone seems to be talking about it and more and more people are calling for it to happen. It is these days impossible to find anyone who thinks Brexit is going well.”
Award-winning author Ian McEwan is paying for a coach from Aldershot, where he grew up.
Senior politicians are also donating their own money to help subsidise transport. Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine will sponsor a coach from Banbury, while Tory MPs Anna Soubry and Phillip Lee will each fund one from their constituencies of Broxtowe and Bracknell respectively.
On the Labour side, David Miliband, a former foreign secretary, is sponsoring a coach from his old constituency of South Shields, while Peter Mandelson, a former business secretary, is paying for one from Hull.
Sports stars including Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, former Premier League manager Alan Pardew and television presenter Richard Keys have also given their backing.
The march will start in Hyde Park and end in Parliament Square. Organisers hope it will demonstrate the growing public support for a fresh referendum as the best way to break parliamentary deadlock on the terms of Brexit.
The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.
Sign our petition here