Brexit party candidate resigns over colleague’s refusal to disavow pro-IRA bombing comments

NW candidate steps down in protest at fellow NW candidate Claire Fox’s refusal to condemn 1993 Warrington bombing

Former Brexit Party candidate Sally Bate

Warrington-based Brexit Party candidate for the north-west of England Sally Bate resigned her candidacy on Wednesday evening – in protest at comments made by fellow north-west candidate Claire Fox and Ms Fox’s refusal to disavow them.

Ms Fox has defended the 1993 IRA bombing of Warrington, saying that the IRA was ‘defending itself’.

The Warrington bombing – in fact, three bombs in total – caused two deaths. Both of them were children, killed by the second detonation of bombs placed inside waste bins sited to catch shoppers fleeing the first explosion.

Colin Parry OBE, the father of victim Tim Parry, tweeted about Ms Fox’s stance on Wednesday evening:

Sally Bate issued a statement on Wednesday:

1st May 2019 Press release by Sally Bate, EU Parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party

I refer to the statement made by my fellow candidate Claire Fox about the position of her former party, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) on the Warrington bombing by the IRA in 1993. I am unhappy with Clalre’s statement, since she has not categorically condemned the violence inflicted by the IRA.

I stand with Colin Parry and his family and all victims of the Warrington bomb and in view of Claire’s ambiguous position on the issue I cannot continue to stand beside her as a Brexit Party candidate and resign with immediate effect.


The Brexit Party is expected to perform well, in the north-west and other areas, because of the anger of working-class voters over what they perceive as the disdain of a ‘remain establishment’ for their votes in the 2016 referendum.

It’s to be hoped that Ms Fox’s position and Ms Bate’s principled response will peel away some of that support – and Jeremy Corbyn’s success on Tuesday in defeating centrist attempts to force a new referendum into Labour’s manifesto will certainly help.

But Labour must nonetheless be seen to respect its working-class base and end any notion of new public votes if it is to see off the far right’s challenge in its heartlands in the north going forward.

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  1. The real problem for Labour with its working class base in the Midlands and North and crucially in the key Labour-Tory marginals, is that it is seen as the party of Remain-BRINO. This is actually regardless of the prospect of a second referendum, which I am glad is receding at the moment.

    Labour’s consolation in the Euro Elections may have to be the Conservatives’ likely rotten showing.


  2. I wonder if some of her family had been injured in the bombing would she still have said it hmmm

    1. That the peculiar, now uber neoliberal Right libertarian, Claire Fox, has had such an uncritical promotion from the BBC and other media outlets over the years for her conveniently Far Right Libertarian views is perhaps not surprising , any more than the platform provided to that dreadful eugenicist misogynist , Toby Young. What is surprising is that the BBC Moral Maze prog and Daily Politics , which constantly offered her a paid platform, never did any basic digging into the positions held by her previous nutty ultraleft , supposedly “Trotskyist”, mini grouping, The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), on the IRA in particular. Being an old ex-Trot Leftie myself I well remember being somewhat taken aback in the mid 197O’s by a particularly outrageous RCP newspaper headline saying “We are all legitimate targets now” in relation to the then ongoing IRA bombing campaign ! How RCP paper sellers avoided being beaten up on the streets I do not know. Knowing how the entire RCP leadership eventually morphed effortlessly into the billionaire Koch and Big Pharma -funded neoliberalism promoting “Ideas Academy” and “Spiked Online” I have long suspected that the completely contrarian nutty politics of the RCP could well have been because the RCP leadership were actually paid for state assets tasked with discrediting the (in the 1970’s, fast growing) UK Far Left all along.

  3. Claire Fox in favour of Brexit? That should give any Brexiteer pause. The woman isn’t noted for coherent thought.

    BTW – Labour’s ‘working class base’ actually showed a majority vote for remaining in the EU.

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