POLITICS

Benefits Street Star White Dee 'Swaying Towards' Voting Labour

28/01/2015 11:19 GMT | Updated 28/01/2015 11:59 GMT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this photo provided by Channel 4 on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2013, 'White Dee' featured in the show Benefits Street, poses for a promotional still. The stars of Britain’s most talked-about television show have a dubious claim to fame: They don’t work. A shoplifter running away from police, a recovering drug addict and a ragtag band of jobless people are the unlikely stars of “Benefits Street,” a hit documentary-style program about welfare receipients that has drawn millions of viewers and stirred up a furious storm of complaints and controversy in Britain. Critics say the show _ which zooms in on the residents of a Birmingham street where 9 out of 10 people are said to live off state payouts _ is designed to fan hatred by showing people on the dole in the worst possible light. Scores of viewers took to Twitter to vent abuse at the residents as soon as the first episode aired earlier this month, and some even made death threats. (AP Photo/Channel 4, Richard Ansett)

One of the stars of the controversial documentary series Benefits Street, White Dee, has announced she is "swaying towards" voting Labour.

Dee, also known as Deidre Kelly, told LBC Radio that she was intending on voting Labour after previously hinting that she might want to stand for parliament, and that she was tempted by Ukip.

Benefits Street, a documentary about the residents of James Archer Street in Birmingham, has been described by Guardian columnist Owen Jones as a "medieval stocks updated for a modern format".

As one of Britain's most high-profile benefits claimants, White Dee's support will be highly awkward for Ed Miliband as it makes it easier for the Tories to attack his party's stance on the welfare budget.

White Dee explained her support for Labour by lavishing praise on Birmingham's "amazing Labour candidate Sharon Thompson", who is only a councillor in the city's Soho ward.

She later joked about how her endorsement would be received by the Labour leadership, telling LBC presenter Iain Dale: "They're probably going to shut down the whole of the Labour party!"

Dale responded: "You might well be Ed MIliband's saviour, you never know."

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently cited the programme to justify his welfare cuts in a warning of "ghettoised communities" that are like a "different country".

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