Claire Fox

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Claire Regina Fox (born 5 June 1960,[1] Barton-upon-Irwell), also known as Claire Foster,[citation needed] is a British libertarian writer. She is the director and founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas and a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Early life[edit]

Fox was born to Irish Catholic parents John Fox and Maura Cleary and is the older sister of Fiona and Gemma Fox.[2] After attending St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Flint, North Wales, she studied at the University of Warwick where she graduated with a lower second class degree (2:2) in English and American Literature.[1] She gained a PCGE from Thames Polytechnic in 1992.[citation needed]


Fox was a mental health social worker from 1981-7.[citation needed] From 1987-90 she was an English Language and Literature lecturer at Thurrock Technical College and at West Herts College from 1992-9.[citation needed]

Revolutionary Communist Party[edit]

Fox joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as a student at the University of Warwick.[3] For the next twenty years, she was one of the RCP's core activists and organisers, becoming co-publisher of its magazine Living Marxism,[4] until it closed after losing a libel case.[5]

Fox stayed with her ex-RCP members when the group transformed itself in the late 1990s into a network around the web magazine Spiked Online and the Institute of Ideas, both based in the former RCP offices. The group now takes the position that the terms 'left-' and 'right-wing' no longer carry any meaning. Guardian journalist George Monbiot has argued these groups are part of the "pro-corporate libertarian right".[6]

In the media[edit]

Fox is regularly invited to contribute to BBC Radio 4's programme The Moral Maze.[7] She has also appeared as a panellist on BBC One's political television show Question Time.[8]

Fox has been widely criticised for her libertarian belief in the desirability of minimal governmental control and support of free speech in all contexts. In particular, she has been accused of "supporting Gary Glitter’s right to download child porn",[1][9] a claim she denies,[10] without a source for the statement. She has also been criticised for rejecting multiculturalism as divisive,[1] questioning the negative publicity surrounding genetically modified crops[4] and denying that there are any natural limits to human activity on the planet with her suggestion that everyone could be as rich as a multi-millionaire.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Stuart Jeffries (19 November 2005). "Infamy's child - Stuart Jeffries finds Claire Fox still takes joy in riling the liberal left". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Sunday Times: Claire and Fiona Fox, sisters (May 2006) - An interview with Claire and Fiona Fox
  3. ^ Jenny Turner (8 July 2010). "Who Are They? - Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Andy Rowell (26 March 2003). "The alliance of science". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "ITN wins Bosnian war libel case". BBC. 15 March 2000. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  6. ^ George Monbiot (9 December 2003). "Invasion of the entryists". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Moral Maze – Claire Fox". BBC. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "BBC ONE Question Time guests for 15 January 2004". BBC. Retrieved January 2013. The panellists are: David Miliband MP, Minister for Schools; George Osborne MP, Shadow Treasury Minister; Baroness Williams, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords; Dr David Starkey, Historian and Broadcaster; and Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas. 
  9. ^ Time Out list of London's movers and shakers (no.64)
  10. ^ "Foxing Clever". The Richmond Magazine. 
  11. ^ Turn up the Heat event, World Development Movement, 8 May 2008

External links[edit]