Laurence Fox ‘outed himself as a racist’, Nicola Thorp tells High Court
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Laurence Fox “outed himself as a racist” with a tweet calling for a boycott of a supermarket, broadcaster Nicola Thorp has told the High Court.
The Reclaim Party founder is involved in a libel trial over an exchange on Twitter, now known as X, about a decision by Sainsbury’s to provide a safe space for black employees during Black History Month.
Mr Fox called for a boycott of the supermarket in October 2020 and was called “a racist” by the drag artist Crystal, former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and Ms Thorp.
The 45-year-old subsequently termed each of the trio a “paedophile”, prompting the libel action by Mr Blake and the drag star, also known as Colin Seymour.
Mr Fox, who denies being a racist, is counter-suing the trio for libel over their tweets.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ms Thorp – who co-hosts the breakfast show Talk Today on Talk TV with Jeremy Kyle – entered the witness box on the sixth day of the trial in London.
In her written evidence, the broadcaster said Mr Fox was “deliberately misrepresenting” the actions of Sainsbury’s in his tweet and that he “uses newsworthy events to make racist comments”.
She said: “Mr Fox was misrepresenting what racial segregation means and that was very offensive given what the victims of actual segregation went through.”
Ms Thorp continued: “I already thought Mr Fox was a racist. By announcing he was boycotting them, and calling for others to do so, he had shown that he did not want to shop at an ‘inclusive’ retailer, which was proud to serve a diverse community.
“He therefore had clearly outed himself as a racist.”
During his evidence, which began on Monday, Mr Fox said he was “horrified” when he saw he had been called a racist, which he later described as “a career-ending word, and a reputation-destroying allegation”.
The more I learned about Mr Fox, the more I saw that he was racist. I am sure that he does not think that he is, but such self-denial is not uncommon
He said in his written evidence: “It was very hurtful, firstly as it is not true, and secondly because it was baseless: it felt as if the claimants had posted it to try and destroy me. I felt that one of the most important things I had in this world was my good name, and they were trying to ruin it.”
But Ms Thorp said that any reputational harm Mr Fox suffered “was because of what he did, not because of what I said”.
She continued: “The more I learned about Mr Fox, the more I saw that he was racist.
“I am sure that he does not think that he is, but such self-denial is not uncommon; it is almost a given when someone starts a sentence ‘I’m not racist but …’ or tells you that ‘some of my best friends are black’.”
The trial before Mrs Justice Collins Rice is due to end later this week, with a decision expected at a later date.