Eddie Izzard has failed to be chosen as Labour’s candidate for Brighton Pavilion at the next general election.

The comedian and activist had hoped to represent the constituency as Labour’s parliamentary candidate but was defeated by music industry activist Tom Gray.

The result is Eddie Izzard’s second defeated attempt to stand as an MP, after not being selected to become Labour’s candidate in Sheffield Central last year.

Tom Gray aims to become the first Labour MP for Brighton Pavilion in more than a decade after Green MP Caroline Lucas was elected in 2010.

Ms Lucas announced she will stand down at the next general election, expected to take place sometime next year.

He said he was "delighted and humbled to be selected to be the Labour candidate for Brighton Pavilion".

The Argus: Tom Gray addressed Labour members after being selected as the party's candidateTom Gray addressed Labour members after being selected as the party's candidate (Image: Tim Rowkins)

Mr Gray attracted the majority of support from party members and also received the backing of several trade unions, including Unite, Unison and USDAW.

Members gathered at the Hilton Metropole earlier this afternoon for a hustings with all four candidates and to vote on who should represent Labour in the constituency.

Eddie Izzard placed second, while Goldsmid councillor Birgit Miller placed third, with North Portslade councillor Lucy Helliwell fourth.

The Argus: Protesters gathered outside the hustings as Labour members arrived at the HiltonProtesters gathered outside the hustings as Labour members arrived at the Hilton (Image: Save Bright Start Nursery)

Protesters gathered outside the hustings calling on the Labour administration on Brighton and Hove City Council to save the Bright Start Nursery from closure.

Ed Armston-Sheret, spokesman for the Save Bright Start campaign, said: "We think there are other ways that the council could save money while protecting services, such as locating the nursery in St Bartholomew’s school, which haven’t been properly investigated.

"We’re optimistic about stopping these cuts as Labour members seemed very interested in what we had to say."

Who is Tom Gray?

The Argus: Tom Gray will be Labour's candidate for Brighton Pavilion at the next electionTom Gray will be Labour's candidate for Brighton Pavilion at the next election (Image: Tom Gray)

Born and raised in Merseyside, Tom Gray was a founding member of rock band Gomez, winning the Mercury Prize with the band in 1998 and securing five UK top 40 albums.

In his time as a composer, he wrote the score of BBC comedy-drama series In My Skin, as well as composing the adaptation of Roald Dahl story Danny Champion of the World for the stage as a musical.

He founded the Broken Record campaign in March 2020 to seek fairer remuneration for music creators, helping bring about a parliamentary report into the music industry.

After falling in love with Brighton after performing at the Pavilion Theatre, Mr Gray moved to the city in 1999, where he lives with his wife and son.

He joined the Labour Party at the age of 15 and helped campaign for Peter Kyle’s re-election in 2017.

Brighton Pavilion is expected to be a hotly contested constituency at the next election, with Labour expected to fight hard to win the seat following the party’s success at the local elections in May.

At the last general election, Caroline Lucas extended her majority for the Green Party for a third time, winning 57.2 per cent of the vote and securing an almost 20,000 vote majority.

Labour’s Adam Imanpour placed a distant second with 22.8 per cent, with Conservative candidate Emma Hogan receiving 17.5 per cent.

Caroline Lucas announced she would stand down as an MP at the next general election earlier this year to allow her to focus more on the “existential challenges” of the nature and climate emergencies.

In a letter to constituents, Ms Lucas said: “On election night 2010, I pledged that I would do my best to do you proud.

“I can only hope that, whether you voted for me or not, you will judge that that is what I have done.”