Claire Fox
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Claire Fox

Claire Fox
Claire Fox of Moral Maze (cropped).png
Claire Fox in 2013
Member of the European Parliament
for North West England

2 July 2019 - 31 January 2020
LeaderNigel Farage
Paul Nuttall
Constituency abolished
Personal details
Claire Regina Fox

(1960-06-05) 5 June 1960 (age 59)
Barton-upon-Irwell, Lancashire, England
Political partyBrexit (since 2019)
Other political
Independent (1997-2019)
Revolutionary Communist (before 1997)
RelationsFiona Fox (sister)
Alma materUniversity of Warwick
University of Greenwich
OccupationWriter and broadcaster
Known forDirector and founder of Institute of Ideas

Claire Regina Fox (born 5 June 1960)[1] is a British libertarian writer and politician.[2][3] She is the director and founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas, a trading name of the Academy of Ideas. She was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, later became a registered supporter[4] of the Brexit Party, and won a seat for the party[5] in the North West England constituency at the 2019 European Parliament election. She remained in this role until the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020.

Early life

Fox was born to Irish Catholic parents John Fox and Maura Cleary and is the elder sister of Fiona and Gemma Fox.[6] She grew up in Buckley, Flintshire, Wales.[7]

After attending St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Flint, she studied at the University of Warwick where she graduated with a lower second class degree (2:2) in English and American Literature.[1] She gained a PGCE from Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) in 1992.[]


Fox was a mental health social worker (1981-1987).[8] She was an English Language and Literature lecturer at Thurrock Technical College (1987-1990) and at West Herts College (1992-1999).[8] Fox wrote the book I Find That Offensive! in 2016.[9]

Revolutionary Communist Party

Fox joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as a student at the University of Warwick.[10] 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,[11] which closed in 2000 after the courts found it had falsely accused Independent Television News (ITN) of faking evidence of the Bosnian genocide.[1] In 2018, Fox refused to apologise for suggesting evidence of the genocide was faked.[12]

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".[13]

In the media

Fox has been a guest panellist on BBC Radio 4's programme The Moral Maze,[8] and appeared as a panellist on BBC One's political television programme Question Time.[14]

Fox has been criticised by The Guardian for rejecting multiculturalism as divisive.[1] In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[15]

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.[16] Fox has been criticised for her libertarian belief in the desirability of minimal governmental control and support of free speech in all contexts. She has been accused of "supporting Gary Glitter's right to download child porn",[1][17] something of which she says: "I feel stupid for saying [...] paedophilia is disgusting".[18]

Fox was also criticised, by the father of murdered schoolboy Tim Parry amongst others, for her past support for the Provisional Irish Republican Army.[19] A Brexit Party spokesperson commented on the criticism of their candidate Fox: "It's a desperate attempt to cause trouble".[20]

Brexit Party

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.[21] The candidacy was announced on 23 April 2019. Her selection was criticised 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.[22] Another candidate for the Brexit Party, Sally Bate, resigned, citing Fox's "ambiguous position" about IRA violence.[23] Fox was subsequently elected to serve in the European Parliament.


  1. ^ a b c d e Jeffries, Stuart (19 November 2005). "Infamy's child - Stuart Jeffries finds Claire Fox still takes joy in riling the liberal left". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Walker, Peter (23 April 2019). "Former communist standing as MEP for Farage's Brexit party". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Staunton, Denis (23 April 2019). "Farage in pole position for European Parliament elections". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Mason, Rowena (18 April 2019). "Nigel Farage has near-total control of Brexit party, constitution suggests". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "European elections 2019: Brexit Party wins three North West seats". BBC News. 27 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Claire and Fiona Fox, sisters", The Sunday Times (May 2006) - An interview with Claire and Fiona Fox
  7. ^ Fox, Claire (30 November 2019). "I was brought up in Buckley. Still think of it as home. Can't beleive @brexitparty_uk having an event there on Monday am and I will be speaking. I might get a bit emotional! Come along if you are in North Wales/Chester area. ...". @Fox_Claire. Retrieved 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  8. ^ a b c "The Moral Maze - Claire Fox". The Moral Maze. BBC. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Fox, Claire (2016). I Find That Offensive!. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-849-54981-3.
  10. ^ Turner, Jenny (8 July 2010). "Who Are They? - Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas". London Review of Books. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Pallister, David (8 July 2000). "Life after Living Marxism: Fighting for freedom - to offend, outrage and question everything". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Monbiot, George (9 December 2003). "Invasion of the entryists". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ "BBC ONE Question Time guests for 15 January 2004". BBC. Retrieved 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.
  15. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2015: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006". Time Out London.
  18. ^ Llewellyn Smith, Julia (28 April 2019). "The Brexit Party's Claire Fox on why she's fghting for Farage". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Brexit Party candidate slammed as 'absolutely disgraceful' over IRA bombing views". Warrington Guardian.
  20. ^ "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party candidate questioned over past IRA views". Belfast Telegraph.
  21. ^ "European Parliament (UK) elections - North West region". WhoCanIVoteFor. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "Brexit Party candidate criticised for past IRA defence". BBC News. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "IRA row: Warrington Brexit MEP candidate quits". BBC News. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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