One of the stars of controversial reality TV show Benefits Street says she will run for Parliament after a “patronising” response from a sitting MP.
Deirdre Kelly, also known as White Dee, shot to fame on Channel 4’s Benefits Street, which followed a series of people living on social security in James Turner Street in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.
Writing in this week’s Spectator, she said she was inspired when her daughter showed her a newspaper article where her chances of political success were written off.
She said: “Caitlin hands me a newspaper report. ‘Benefits Street star White Dee is not good enough for the House of Commons, a Tory MP blasted last night. Former Eton and Cambridge University scholar Kwasi Kwarteng told her, You’re not a good role model. She should give it a go if she thinks she has the qualities, but I’m not sure she’ll get very far’.
“What a cheek! The fuss about Benefits Street means Ladbrokes has made me 50-1 to be the next MP for Birmingham Ladywood, and until I read that patronising nonsense I wasn’t going to stand. Now, I think I will. As an independent, mind. How far will I get? Let’s just see. ‘From Benefits Street to Downing Street’ – now, that would be a headline.”
Channel 4 has announced plans for a new series of the hit show but it will not be filmed in Birmingham.
A spokesman for the broadcaster said the show “ignited an important debate about the welfare system and we are interested in seeing if we can revisit this through the experiences of residents of a street in a different part of Britain”.