Laurence Fox launches a new political party to fight the culture wars

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Laurence Fox photographed on The Old Oswestry Hill Fort in Shropshire - Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph
Laurence Fox photographed on The Old Oswestry Hill Fort in Shropshire - Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph

Actor Laurence Fox is launching a political party to fight the culture wars after raising over £1 million, including substantial sums from former Tory donors, The Telegraph can disclose.

Fox hopes to stand dozens of candidates for his new party at the next general election to provide a political movement for people who are "tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against".

His aims include reforming publicly funded institutions, likely to include the BBC, and celebrating Britain's history and global contribution.

The new party (provisionally called "Reclaim") could launch as soon as next month. The party's name is subject to approval by the Electoral Commission. Papers are due to be submitted to the electoral regulator in the middle of this week.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Fox said: "Over many years it has become clear that our politicians have lost touch with the people they represent and govern.

"Moreover, our public institutions now work to an agenda beyond their main purpose. Our modern United Kingdom was borne out of the respectful inclusion of so many individual voices.

"It is steeped in the innate values of families and communities, diverse in the truest sense but united in the want and need to call this island home.

"The people of the United Kingdom are tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against.

"We are all privileged to be the custodians of our shared heritage. We can reclaim a respectful nation where all are included and none are ashamed to have somewhere to call home.

"I have been so encouraged by the support I have received by those wishing to add their voices to this reclamation of our values.

"Our country is now in desperate need of a new political movement which promises to make our future a shared endeavour, not a divisive one. This is now my endeavour."

One Westminster source described the new party as a version of the UK Independence Party for the culture wars which could attract hundreds of thousands of disaffected Tory voters at the next general election.

The source said: "This is basically a Ukip for culture and is exactly what the Tory party should be frightened about."

Sources close to Reclaim stressed that it did not see itself as of the left or right in British politics insisting "it is a broad church, acknowledging left and right are dying distinctions".

Reclaim has three stated objectives, according to plans seen by The Telegraph.

The first is "to promote an open space through full protection of the fundamental freedoms of speech, expression, thought, association and academic inquiry. To stand in full opposition to laws and other measures which undermine those freedoms". 

The second objective is "to reform publicly funded, controlled and operated institutions to ensure that they deliver on their primary purpose, free from political bias or agendas beyond their scope.

"This program of reform will cover, although not be exclusive to, our system of democracy, education, law enforcement, the civil service, public media, charitable organisations and other non-governmental organisations in receipt of public funds."

The third objective is "to preserve and celebrate our shared national history, cultural inheritance and global contribution".

Planning has been underway for the past two months.

More than £1 million had been pledged from business people including former Tory donor Jeremy Hosking. A spokesman for Mr Hosking declined to comment.

A staff to run the party is currently being recruited ahead of Reclaim's expected launch next month.

Rada-educated Fox, 42, the son of actor James Fox, is best known for playing the lead role of DS James Hathaway in the British TV drama series Lewis from 2006 to 2015.

Fox Family tree
Fox Family tree

But he burst onto the political scene in January when he hit back at claims the media's treatment of the Duchess of Sussex amounted to "racism", telling the audience on BBC 1's QuestionTime: "It's not racism ... we're the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe."

Fox also attracted attention on the BBC programme for comments about climate change. Joking about the hypocrisy of celebrities who fly regularly, Fox said: "The carbon footprint's huge. But we make up for it by preaching to everyone how they should change their life."

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