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Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 00:21 GMT
Iraq war a big no-no, actor says
Richard Wilson in anti-war protest
Richard Wilson wore a gag during an anti-war protest in 2003
Labour-supporting actor Richard Wilson says he suffered a "nasty and frightening" loss of heart in Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

Mr Wilson, who played Victor Meldrew in TV comedy One Foot in the Grave, has been a member of the party for years.

But interviewed for the parliamentary House Magazine, he said the Iraq invasion had been "a big no-no for me".

He said he had thought he would never be "deeply upset" by the way Labour had "by and large moved to the right".

In 2003, Mr Wilson wore a gag during a protest against the war in Parliament Square, London.

He and other stage actors, including Joseph Fiennes and Sheila Hancock, wore gags before reading out extracts from a Greek anti-war comedy.

Mr Wilson made his critical remarks ahead of his appearance in a new political play Whipping It Up.

'Blair arrogance'

"I never thought I would see the day when I would be deeply upset and disappointed by the way the party had, by and large, moved to the right," he said.

The 70-year-old actor said it was Mr Blair's arrogance which angered him - "arrogance which makes him think he can stay, arrogance which makes him think he could run the country by himself".

He said he believed Gordon Brown would make a good leader, taking the party back to the left and making "startling changes" at No 10.

Mr Wilson is a regular spokesman on pensioners' rights and is a passionate supporter of the arts.

His support for Labour has earned him invitations to Chequers and Downing Street.


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