Laurence Fox calls for Twitter ‘retract button’ amid ‘paedophile’ defamation row with Stonewall trustee

Laurence Fox has called for a Twitter “retract button” amid a bitter row with Stonewall UK deputy chair Simon Blake, who announced that he’s suing the actor for calling him a “paedophile” during a bizarre rant about Sainsbury’s.

Aspiring politician Laurence Fox took to Twitter Sunday (4 October) to fire off a furious series of tweets reacting to Sainsbury’s celebrating Black History Month.

Fox responded: “I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again while you promote racial segregation and discrimination. I sincerely hope others join me.”

Comments flooded in accusing the actor of “racism”, and Simon Blake, the gay CEO of Mental Health First Aid England and deputy chair of Stonewall UK, replied to Fox’s tweet: “What a mess. What a racist t**t.”

In response, Fox made the decision to start accusing his critics of being “paedophiles”, including Blake, Coronation Street actor Nicola Thorp and Crystal of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK fame.

To Blake, he replied: “Pretty rich coming from a paedophile.” The Stonewall UK deputy chair later announced that he would be suing Fox for defamation.

On Monday (5 October) Fox attended a virtual fringe event of the Conservative Party Conference on “the free speech crisis”, hosted by ThinkTent with the Free Speech Union.

Fox spoke about the Twitter incident, and how he feels social media has impacted on free speech.

He said: “I started mulling to myself this idea of whether Twitter should introduce a ‘retract button’, where the tweet stays up but it just has a big stamp across the top saying ‘this is retracted by the author’.

“So you could watch the development of people’s thoughts, understand that their positions change and alter, that they have made mistakes.

“And that may encourage us to be more free in our views rather than collectivising around any form of victimhood or any form of offence, and then we should motivate ourselves to collectivise around things that are really important, like how we relate to each other, good manners, mutual respect.”

Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox attended a virtual fringe event of the Conservative Party Conference on “the free speech crisis”. (Think Tent/ YouTube)

However, it seemed that Fox did not want to “retract” his criticism of Sainsbury’s and its celebration of Black History Month.

Ironically, during a panel on free speech, Fox suggested that critical race theory should be banned from being taught in universities, and hit out at Sainbury’s again: “Any government money that’s going into any pseudoscience like unconscious bias training and all of this stuff, and telling people that they need safe spaces from white people in supermarkets, should be boycotted. Or, in the case of the government, they should have their funding removed.”