Stonewall UK deputy chair Simon Blake has announced that he is suing Laurence Fox after the actor called him a “paedophile” during a bizarre Twitter rant about Sainsbury’s.
Former actor and 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.
The supermarket announced that it was “proud” to celebrate the event, and that customers who were offended by an “inclusive retailer” were “welcome to shop elsewhere”.
Fox took up the supermarket’s offer, responding: “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.”
He replied to Blake: “Pretty rich coming from a paedophile.” Now, Blake has announced that he is suing Fox for defamation.
In a statement posted to Twitter Monday (5 October), he said: “On Sunday afternoon I saw a tweet from Laurence Fox suggesting that he would stop shopping in Sainsbury’s and calling on others to do the same.
“This was his reaction to Sainsbury’s statement that they are an inclusive retailer. He suggested that Sainsbury’s actively anti-racist stance is promoting racial segregation and discrimination.
“I disagreed strongly with his view and I expressed that in a tweet. While I regret the unnecessary language I used, which is not in line with the way I like to conduct myself, I feel strongly about this issue.
“In response, Mr Fox seriously defamed me and I have instructed Mark Lewis from Patron Law to sue for defamation.”
I detest racism. Challenging it is important to me, but I will choose my words more carefully in future. I want to be the best ally I can to people impacted by racism. pic.twitter.com/QhQgkCZBLB
— Simon Blake (@Simonablake) October 5, 2020
Blake added: “I want to make it absolutely clear that I will always stand against racism and will do my best to be a strong white ally.
“This is particularly important because we know the negative impact that racism and oppression has on the mental health and wellbeing and Black people and people of colour.”
Watch: Specially decorated Black History Month postboxes to honour black Britons