Claire Regina Fox (born 5 June 1960) is a British libertarian writer and politician. She is the director and founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas, a trading name of the Academy of Ideas. She is a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. She is now a registered supporter of the Brexit Party and won a seat for the party in the North West England constituency at the 2019 European Parliament election.
Claire Fox in 2013
|Member of the European Parliament|
for North West England
|Assumed office |
2 July 2019
|Preceded by||Paul Nuttall|
Claire Regina Fox
5 June 1960
Barton-upon-Irwell, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
|Political party||Brexit (since 2019)|
Revolutionary Communist (before 1997)
|Relations||Fiona Fox and Gemma Fox (sisters)|
|Parents||John Fox |
|Alma mater||University of Warwick|
University of Greenwich
|Occupation||Writer and broadcaster|
|Known for||Director and founder of Institute of Ideas|
Fox was born to Irish Catholic parents John Fox and Maura Cleary and is the elder sister of Fiona and Gemma Fox. After attending St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Flint, North Wales, she studied at the University of Warwick where she graduated with a lower second class degree (2:2) in English and American Literature. She gained a PGCE from University of Greenwich, then Thames Polytechnic, in 1992.
Fox was a mental health social worker (1981–1987). She was an English Language and Literature lecturer at Thurrock Technical College (1987–1990) and at West Herts College (1992–1999). Fox wrote the book I Find That Offensive! in 2016.
Revolutionary Communist PartyEdit
Fox joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as a student at the University of Warwick. For the next twenty years, she was one of the RCP's core activists and organisers. She became co-publisher of its magazine Living Marxism, which closed in 2000 after it falsely accused ITN of faking evidence of the Bosnian genocide. In 2018, Fox refused to apologise for suggesting evidence of the genocide was faked.
Fox stayed with her ex-RCP members when the group transformed itself in the early 2000s into a network around the web magazine Spiked Online and the Institute of Ideas, both based in the former RCP offices. Author and environmental activist George Monbiot has argued these groups are part of the "pro-corporate libertarian right".
In the mediaEdit
Fox's first television appearance was her now famous phone call to Going Live when she abused Five Star. It is now believed that this was due to the teenage Fox misinterpreting the lyrics to the hit Rain or Shine as support for Ian Paisley.
Fox has been criticised for her libertarian belief in the desirability of minimal governmental control and support of free speech in all contexts. In particular, she has been accused of "supporting Gary Glitter’s right to download child porn", something which she says "I feel stupid for saying [...] paedophilia is disgusting".
She has also been criticised for rejecting multiculturalism as divisive, questioning the negative publicity surrounding genetically modified crops and denying that there are any natural limits to human activity on the planet with her suggestion that everyone could have the same equivalent wealth as a multi-millionaire. In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.
In April 2019, Fox was criticised by the Morning Star, a socialist daily, and by Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, for her view that the Government of the United Kingdom should not ban people from watching child porn or Jihadi terrorist videos. She been criticised for her support for the Provisional Irish Republican Army, including by the father of murdered schoolboy Tim Parry. A Brexit Party spokesperson commented on the criticism of their candidate Fox "It's a desperate attempt to cause trouble".
Fox was in the first position in the list for the Brexit Party in the North West England constituency at the 2019 European Parliament election.  The candidacy was announced on 23 April 2019. Her selection was condemned by the father of Tim Parry due to her past comments in defence of the 1993 IRA Warrington bomb attacks, which had killed his son, within the North West England constituency. Another candidate for the Brexit Party, Sally Bate, resigned, citing Fox's "ambiguous position" in relation to IRA violence. In 2019 she attracted ridicule for her appearance on BBC Politics Live. She claimed, while backing Boris Johnson for leader of the Conservative Party, that she wants to lose her 'stupid MEP job’.
- Jeffries, Stuart (19 November 2005). "Infamy's child - Stuart Jeffries finds Claire Fox still takes joy in riling the liberal left". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Walker, Peter (23 April 2019). "Former communist standing as MEP for Farage's Brexit party". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
- Staunton, Denis (23 April 2019). "Farage in pole position for European Parliament elections". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Mason, Rowena (18 April 2019). "Nigel Farage has near-total control of Brexit party, constitution suggests". The Guardian.
- "European elections 2019: Brexit Party wins three North West seats". BBC News. 27 May 2019.
- "Claire and Fiona Fox, sisters", The Sunday Times (May 2006) - An interview with Claire and Fiona Fox
- "The Moral Maze – Claire Fox". The Moral Maze. BBC. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- Fox, Claire (2016). I Find That Offensive!. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-849-54981-3.
- Turner, Jenny (8 July 2010). "Who Are They? - Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Pallister, David (8 July 2000). "Life after Living Marxism: Fighting for freedom - to offend, outrage and question everything". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Outfoxing Nigel". Private Eye. No. 1495. 3 May 2019. p. 10.
Last year the journalists who run London's Frontline Club considered inviting Fox to speak. Vulliamy insisted she apologise to the camp victims first, but Fox refused.
- Monbiot, George (9 December 2003). "Invasion of the entryists". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "BBC ONE Question Time guests for 15 January 2004". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
The panellists are: David Miliband MP, Minister for Schools; George Osborne MP, Shadow Treasury Minister; Baroness Williams, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords; Dr David Starkey, Historian and Broadcaster; and Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas.
- "London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006". Time Out London.
- Llewellyn Smith, Julia (28 April 2019). "The Brexit Party's Claire Fox on why she's fghting for Farage". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Andy Rowell (26 March 2003). "The alliance of science". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Turn up the Heat Archived 14 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine event, World Development Movement, 8 May 2008.
- "BBC 100 Women 2015: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
- Miller, Phil; Thursday, 25 April; 2019 (25 April 2019). "Brexit Party candidate says people should be free to watch child porn and jihadi videos". Morning Star.
- "Brexit Party candidate slammed as 'absolutely disgraceful' over IRA bombing views". Warrington Guardian.
- "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party candidate questioned over past IRA views" – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
- "European Parliament (UK) elections - North West region". WhoCanIVoteFor. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
- "Brexit Party candidate criticised for past IRA defence". BBC News. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "IRA row: Warrington Brexit MEP candidate quits". BBC News. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Newly-elected Brexit Party MEP says she wants to lose her 'stupid job'". The New European. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.