Laurence Fox to set up new political party dubbed 'Ukip for culture'

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Laurence Fox is setting up a new political party that aims to purge publicly funded bodies like the BBC of “bias or agendas”, according to reports.

The actor and singer, who grabbed headlines with a controversial appearance on the BBC’s Question Time in January this year, has so far raised £1 million in funding for the new “Ukip for culture”.

Provisionally called Reclaim, the party will aim to represent British people who are “tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against”.

The party, which could start operating as soon as October, aims to put up candidates for the next general election in 2024.

Laurence Fox (PA)

Mr Fox told the Sunday Telegraph: “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.”

Mr Fox added that Brits are all “privileged” to have a “shared heritage” and urged people to be “respectful” of others’ opinions, so “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,” he went on.

“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.”

Laurence Fox during his Question Time appearance in January (BBC)

A Westminster source told the Sunday Telegraph that the new party, which does not call itself left or right-wing, could pose a threat to established political players.

“This is basically a Ukip for culture and is exactly what the Tory party should be frightened about,” they said.

The party has set out three main goals.

These are “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”.

Laurence Fox earlier this year (Dave Benett)

The second goal 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 aim is “to preserve and celebrate our shared national history, cultural inheritance and global contribution”.

Mr Fox courted controversy on Question Time in January this year, wading into a debate about how Meghan Markle is portrayed in the media – with his comments sparking a race row about white male privilege.

Laurence Fox sparked controversy by calling discussions of possible bias towards Meghan Markle “boring”  (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

In the episode, Fox called the discussion about possible bias in coverage towards the Duchess of Sussex “boring”. He then accused an audience of racism for calling him a white privileged male.

He later revealed to the Sunday Times that his mixed-race fashion designer and photographer girlfriend broke up with him shortly after his appearance.

His brother-in-law, actor mixed-race actor and director Richard Ayoade, was also “furious” about the comments, he said.