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Sun, 27 September 2020

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Labour call for Claire Fox's peerage to be blocked after failure to apologise for supporting deadly IRA bombing

Labour call for Claire Fox's peerage to be blocked after failure to apologise for supporting deadly IRA bombing

Claire Fox was elected as an MEP for the Brexit Party last year, but used to be a leading figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party (PA)

3 min read

Labour are supporting the call by one of its MPs to get a peerage blocked for former MEP Claire Fox after she failed to apologise for supporting the IRA bombing in Warrington.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner called her elevation to the House of Lords an “insult to the people of the North West” and accused Boris Johnson of “crass insensitivity to the families of those who lost their lives”.

The attack by Irish republican terrorists in 1993 killed two children, with the father of one of them saying Ms Fox’s appearance on last week’s honours list "offends me and many others deeply”.

At the time she was a leading figure of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which defended "the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures are necessary in their struggle for freedom”.

And speaking last year ahead of the European Elections, where she stood successfully for the Brexit Party, she refused to say sorry to the victims’ families for the comments, adding: “I didn’t do anything.”

In response Ms Rayner said: “The awarding of a life peerage to someone who has repeatedly refused to apologise for her support of the heinous IRA bombing attack in Warrington in 1993 has rightly caused revulsion and real hurt both in Warrington and across our region.”

She added: “If the Prime Minister refuses to block this nomination he is showing that he doesn’t care about the victims and survivors of terrorism in our communities.”

It comes after the Labour MP for Warrington North - Charlotte Nichols - wrote to the PM saying Ms Fox’s nomination for a peerage has caused “revulsion in my constituency”.

She said: "To allow Ms Fox to become a Life Peer would be to show crass insensitivity to victims of terrorism, and to the communities still scarred by the attack 27 years on.

"Warrington will never forget that day, nor the victims whose lives were cruelly cut short."

Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim was one of the bombing victims, tweeted: “We all do and say things when young that we later regret. 

“Claire Fox never apologised for defending the IRA bombing of Warrington which took the life of my son Tim and Johnathan Ball. 

“Now she is offered a Peerage. This offends me and many others deeply.”

In 2019 Ms Fox dismissed questions about her comments as an attempt to “discredit the Brexit Party”.

But asked if she still held this same views replied: “I don’t hold those views any more because there is no war going on in Ireland anymore.”

And in a statement following the announcement of her peerage she said: "Contrary to what has been reported elsewhere, I do not support or defend the IRA's killing of two young boys in Warrington in 1993."

Number 10 have been contacted for comment, but last week a spokesman said: “Claire Fox has addressed her historic comments about the Troubles and acknowledged the pain that the families of the victims of terrorism have faced.

"She is not a Conservative peer, and her political views will differ from those of the Conservative Government.”

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