Laurence Fox Sued For Libel Over ‘Paedophile’ Comment
London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox is being sued for libel after he called three people “paedophiles” on Twitter.
The former actor, who founded the Reclaim Party, is being sued by Stonewall trustee Simon Blake, Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal over an online spat in October last year.
Fox called both Blake and the former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, whose real name is Colin Munro Seymour, “paedophiles”, in an exchange about Sainsbury’s decision to celebrate Black History Month.
He used the same label against Thorp in a different thread. Following a speech to unveil his party’s manifesto, the Lewis actor claimed he was unaware of the defamation case, which was filed at the High Court on April 1.
When asked about the defamation case, Fox said:
I must check my emails, I’m not aware of that. People can call me whatever they want.
When told it was he who had allegedly called the three claimants paedophiles, he replied: “I was called a racist.”
Free speech. You throw meaningless and baseless insults at someone you get a meaningless and baseless insult in return. People can call me whatever they want.
The comments followed a tweet from the supermarket Sainsbury’s, which shared its support for Black History Month.
On 4 October, Fox tweeted that Sainsbury’s marking Black History Month “promoted racial segregation and discrimination”.
He called for people to boycott the supermarket. In response, Fox claims he was “called a racist.”
At the time, Crystal said:
An accusation of paedophilia is one of the oldest homophobic tropes, and it was very shocking to have that levelled at me, not just by Mr Fox, but also his many followers who believed him. I may have had to endure homophobic bullying as a child, but I will not tolerate it as an adult.
Following the legal action, Crystal said “it would be inappropriate to comment further”.
A spokesman for Patron Law, which is representing the three claimants, confirmed that proceedings had been issued at the High Court in London, and said the firm would not be commenting further at this time.
In his speech in front of the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square in London, Fox said:
A year ago we lent our government our liberty for three short weeks to flatten the curve and now, a year on, they refuse to give back what never belonged to them in the first place. There is no reason we are being kept in lockdown, we have been manipulated, frightened and outright lied to by this government, who instead of trusting us to get on with our lives are now flirting with even more authoritarian measures.
He criticised the Government for refusing to rule out vaccine passports, and pledged to “take the politics out of policing”.