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