Brexit Party candidate criticised for past IRA defence


Johnathan Ball and Tim ParryImage copyright
PA

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Johnathan Ball, three, and Tim Parry, 12, were killed in the bomb blasts in Warrington in 1993

The father of a murdered schoolboy has criticised a top Brexit Party candidate over “absolutely disgraceful” comments about the Warrington IRA bombing.

European elections candidate Claire Fox was a leading member of the far-left Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) which defended the fatal attack.

Colin Parry, whose son Tim died in the 1993 bombing, said she “should disavow these comments if that’s her position”.

A Brexit Party spokesman said Ms Fox “does not hold those views now”.

Tim Parry, 12, and Johnathan Ball, three, were killed in the IRA bombing on March 20, 1993, which left 56 others injured.

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Reuters

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Nigel Farage, right, with Claire Fox, James Glancy and Matthew Patten, candidates of the Brexit Party

The RCP defended “the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom” in the party’s newsletter published shortly after the killings.

Mr Parry, who set up the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation with his wife Wendy to provide conflict resolution and victim support, said Ms Fox should explain her position.

He added: “For somebody to come out with comments I believe she made, and being an apologist for the IRA, is absolutely disgraceful.

“If this woman would care to explain her comments back at that time to me and my wife, I would like her to do so.”

Ms Fox is the number one candidate in the north west of England for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, and if the polls are correct, likely to become Warrington’s MEP.

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PA

Image caption

Colin and Wendy Parry met ex-IRA leader Martin McGuinness when he gave a peace lecture in 2013

Warrington councillor Dan Price, one of Change UK’s candidates for the European elections, said Ms Fox was “totally unfit for office” and “should come to Warrington and explain to the Parry family her views on the IRA atrocity that devastated our town.”

A spokesman for the Brexit Party said Ms Fox does not deny she did hold those views in the past, but that she supported the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland.

He added: “It’s a desperate attempt to cause trouble. That was 20 years ago and she is committed to democracy and peaceful solutions.”

Ms Fox said in a statement she felt the “greatest sympathy” for the Parry family for the “tragic” loss of their son and it “must have been terribly painful, as for all victims of violence during the Troubles”.

She added: “My political views have never made me insensitive to the pain and suffering caused to the innocent victims of events such as the Warrington bomb.”



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