Coogan and Klein lead cultural figures backing Corbyn and Labour

A host of leading cultural figures including the actors Steve Coogan, Mark Rylance and Julie Christie, the grime artist Kano and the writer and environmentalist Naomi Klein have united to back Jeremy Corbyn and praised Labour for prioritising “people and planet over profit”.

In a letter to the Guardian, 40 leading cultural figures, which also includes Catastrophe writer and star Rob Delaney, Top Boy lead Ashley Walters and the band Clean Bandit, encourage people to vote Labour, writing that the Conservatives would create a more unequal and divided society.

“We are shamed by extreme levels of inequality, neglect and environmental impoverishment resulting from decades of neoliberalism, in Britain and across the world,” they said.

“We are inspired by growing movements, from Chile to Lebanon and beyond, calling for dignity, accountability and economic justice.

“In the UK, Labour’s election manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership offers a transformative plan that prioritises the needs of people and planet over private profit and the vested interests of a few.”

Other signatories include Asif Kapadia, the director of Amy, philosopher Noam Chomsky, the playwright David Edgar and comedian and writer Alexei Sayle. Many of the signatories released personal statements endorsing Corbyn and Labour’s manifesto ahead of next week’s election.

“The Labour manifesto recognises the crossroads we are at and has policies to help bring about this move to a life worth living for all. This is the fight of our lives. Make sure you are on the side of hope,” said Sayle.

Naomi Klein said: “The next government will hold power during fateful years on our planet’s climate clock. There is only one leader who possesses both a path to victory and a bold plan on the scale of the crisis. That leader is Jeremy Corbyn.”

Julie Christie said the voting records of Corbyn and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, have “always been honourable: in favour of the disadvantaged and minorities and against war and exploitation”.

Rylance, who has campaigned with the Labour leaders on fair tax, justice and peace projects said Corbyn and McDonnell were experienced and progressive politicians that could make a significant difference to the UK.

Michael Rosen, the poet and broadcaster, said: “‘We’ve got the economy back on track’ means [the Conservatives] have balanced the spreadsheet. As ‘the economy’ doesn’t mean real people, the phrase ‘back on track’ can mean NHS being cut to pieces, people on poverty wages, children hungry, schools cut, disabled people pushed into work.”