Laurence Fox has been threatened with legal action over his plans to set up a political party called Reclaim.
A small, Manchester-based charity with the same title, which supports working-class teenagers, said it would face “substantial damage” from any association with the controversial actor. They have presented him with a cease and desist letter.
Olivia, an 18-year-old who has taken part in the charity’s schemes, told The Guardian that Laurence Fox’s attempt to use their name is “completely wrong” and feels like another example of working-class people “getting pushed aside”.
A spokesman for the Reclaim party project told the publication: “We are aware of the charity’s view. While pointing out the obvious fact that no party name has actually been registered, lawyers are looking at their recent contention.”
Fox announced last month that he would be launching a new political party to fight the so-called “culture wars”. The group was described by one Westminster source as “basically a Ukip for culture”.
A report in The Telegraph stated that Fox had raised more than £1m, including sums from former Tory donors.
He is reportedly hoping to stand dozens of candidates for his new party at the next general election.
It has apparently been set up to provide a political movement for people who are “tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against”.
A Twitter account has already been set up for the new Reclaim party, though the name has not yet been formally approved by the Electoral Commission.
Fox was initially best-known as the star of TV drama Lewis, which ran between 2006 to 2015.
The star has been in the spotlight since January this year, when he appeared on the BBC’s Question Time and made headlines for refuting claims that the media’s treatment of Meghan Markle was racially motivated.
He said the row was “boring” and claimed: “It’s not racism. We’re the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.”
In an April interview with The Sunday Times, Fox revealed that his appearance had caused a row with his brother-in-law, actor, comedian and writer Richard Ayoade, after Fox begged him to support his stance on social media.
Ayoade, who is half-Nigerian, was reportedly furious at this, and told Fox: “You have never encountered racism.”
Fox responded: “Yeah, of course I have. I’ve encountered racism from black people towards me, when I was working in Kenya [as a safari driver] for seven months. It’s the way you’re spoken to — racism can be deferential.”
Asked by the interviewer what he meant by the idea that “racism can be deferential”, Fox answered: “This is why you don’t get actors involved in chats like this. Because I’m just not smart enough to do it.”