Boris Johnson criticised for awarding peerage to Brexiteer who supported IRA position
PUBLISHED: 13:32 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:08 05 August 2020
Boris Johnson has been criticised for handing a peerage to a former Brexit Party MEP who has refused to apologise for historical support of the IRA over the attack in Warrington that killed two children.
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Claire Fox will head to the Lords after being included on a 36-strong peerage list that led to allegations of cronyism against the prime minister after he included his brother, Jo Johnson, and a number of Brexit backers.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner said Johnson would be showing he “doesn’t care about the victims and survivors of terrorism” if he does not block the peerage.
Fox was formerly a senior activist in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which produced a newsletter at the time of the Warrington attack stating that the party defended “the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom”.
Though Fox has said she does not condone violence, she has not apologised for the position at the time.
Rayner explained: “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.
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“The prime minister is showing crass insensitivity to the families of those who lost their lives in 1993 and countless others whose lives were changed forever that day, and as a result of the IRA attack in Manchester city centre in 1996.”
Fox has not responded to a request for comment on Labour’s criticism, but has addressed the allegations in the past.
“Terrible things happened – mercifully a peaceful resolution has emerged following the Good Friday Agreement,” she has said.
“I do not condone the use of violence.”
The attack killed schoolboys Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball. Tim’s father Colin Parry said the peerage “offends me and many others deeply”.
A No 10 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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