Claire Fox

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Claire Fox is Director of the Institute of Ideas think tank. 1 She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Economic Policy Centre 2 and was a columnist for The Free Society3 campaign, which was run by the tobacco-industry funded group Forest.
In May 2019, Fox was elected as a Brexit Party MEP for the North West.4 She was joined as a Brexit Party MEP by veteran anti-tobacco control advocate Brian Monteith. Fox stood down as a Brexit Party MEP when the UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020.5

In July 2020, Fox was named in the dissolution honours list as nominated for a non-affiliated peerage. That means she would sit as an independent peer in the House of Lords.67

Against the Smoking Ban

Fox is against the ban on smoking in public enclosed spaces calling a sign of “our small-minded times”. She argues that “These new modern puritans demonise our behaviour and preach illiberalism. “We are constantly hectored about how anti-social smoking is, but the real social killjoys are those who don’t trust adults to make decisions on their own.” 8

Against Plain Packaging

Fox is also a supporter of Forest’s Hands Off Our Packs campaign. Fox argues that “Plain packaging is yet another illiberal attempt to denormalise smoking, treating a legal product as some type of pariah brand that needs to be singled out for special treatment. The real loser however is FREEDOM, and that should have every smoker and non smoker up in arms.” 9

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  1. Institute of Ideas, Claire Fox, Accessed July 2011
  2. Economic Policy Centre, Advisory Board, Accessed July 2011
  3. The Free Society, Claire Fox, Accessed July 2011
  4. BBC News, European elections 2019: Brexit Party wins three North West seats, 27 May 2019, accessed May 2019
  5. European Parliament, Claire Fox, MEPs, undated, Accessed September 2020
  6. BBC, Labour urges PM to block ex-MEP’s peerage over IRA comments, 6 August 2020, Accessed September 2020
  7. UK Government, Political Peerages 2020, July 2020, Accessed September 2020
  8. BBC News, “Smokers in last-gasp stand on ban”, 24 June 2007, Accessed February 2012
  9. Hands Off Our Packs, Supporters, Accessed February 2012