POLITICS
25/03/2018 14:02 BST | Updated 25/03/2018 14:12 BST

Actor Michael Sheen Heightens Speculation He Could Stand To Be A Labour MP

Welshman who played Tony Blair in The Queen failed to rule out entering politics on Peston On Sunday.

Michael Sheen has heightened speculation he could stand to be a Labour MP in future. 

The Welshman, who was nominated for a BAFTA for his performance as Tony Blair in The Queen, failed to rule out entering politics when he appeared on ITV’s Peston On Sunday. 

Sheen was on the show to discuss his campaign to end high-cost debt was asked by Robert Peston whether he had ambitions to become Labour’s Westminster candidate for Aberavon.

The seat is currently held by Labour MP and vocal Jeremy Corbyn-critic Stephen Kinnock. 

“Some would say you are actually sort of writing your manifesto to become the candidate for Aberavon,” said Peston. 

“If that became available, would you stand?” 

Sheen did not confirm or deny the possibility, but said: ”I want to make  as effective as possible. The freedom and the independence that I have is what gives me some leverage.” 

“That’s not a no,” remarked Peston. 

He has already confirmed said he has given up his successful Hollywood career to focus on being a political activist in his home town of Port Talbot.

His decision was prompted by the rise of the far-right across Europe and the US, he said.

He told The Times: “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped. But it has to be understood before it can be stopped.”

Sheen has won plaudits during his career as a character actor and has spoken out on a number of political issues in recent years. 

The 49-year-old played Kenneth Williams in BBC Four’s Fantabulosa!, which also won him a BAFTA nomination. 

He was also nominated for an Olivier Award, one of four during his career, for his portrayal of David Frost in the film Frost/Nixon. 

His other roles include the outspoken football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United, Hamlet at the Young Vic and Dr William Masters in the Showtime series Masters Of Sex. 

One of his first forays into politics was a speech at an NHS rally on St David’s Day 2015, in which he quoted former Health Secretary’s Nye Bevan’s “deep, burning hatred for the Tory Party”. 

His speech, made during Ed Miliband’s leadership of Labour, was an excoriating attack on the state of politics and lambasted politicians of all parties for being “scared of saying what they feel”. 

He implored politicians to “speak from their hearts” and “stand up for what you believe”, adding: “But first, by God, believe in something.” 

Sheen told Peston that high-cost debt is ruining lives. 

The TUC published an analysis earlier this year which showed unsecured debt per household was £13,200 in 2016 – the highest figure since the financial crisis, and only marginally below the peak of £13,300 in 2007.

Pay day/high-cost lenders are thought to be adding to the debt bubble. 

“There seems to be an unfair deal being given to people who can afford it the least,” said Sheen. 

“These companies are targeting people who are unable to access mainstream credit in the way that we may be able to and are taking advantage of that.”  

Fellow Peston On Sunday guest and Labour MP was asked if he would welcome Sheen as a colleague. 

“Absolutely, and I think he would be fantastic,” said Bradshaw.