Reclaim raises £15,000 in one day to challenge Laurence Fox over name

12 Oct 2020 News

The charity Reclaim has raised over £15,000 in 24 hours as it attempts to prevent the actor Laurence Fox from using the same name for his new political party.

Reclaim, which works with young working-class people in Manchester, says that the money will go towards a “fighting fund” to help the charity campaign against Fox’s attempt to use the name in his political work.

The charity’s lawyers have already sent Fox a cease and desist letter, giving him until Wednesday to stop using the name and give up the website domain.

Fox said he is “really happy to talk” with the charity.

'It is really upsetting'

Reclaim was founded in 2007. It had an income of £488,000 last year, according to the latest filings with the Charity Commission.

In a video posted on social media, one person working with charity said: “To have someone ridicule and use the name against us, for no good cause whatsoever, is really upsetting and quite atrocious to me.” 

Another Reclaim representative has written on the charity's GoFundMe page: “We want to create a #ReclaimReclaim fighting fund to help us campaign against him taking our name. 

“We'll use the money to pay for videos, support for us to speak to the media, and [to] promote our messages on social media. What money is left over we'll make sure goes to Reclaim's programmes to support even more young people. 

“With your help we can keep our name and make sure the next generation of leaders come from working-class communities like ours.” 

The charity had originally aimed to raise £1,000.

The political party

On the website for Fox's Reclaim party, the actor says: “Our modern United Kingdom was born out of the respectful inclusion of so many individual voices.    

“It is steeped in the innate values of families and communities, diverse in the truest sense but united in the want and need to call this island home.

“The people of the United Kingdom are tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against.”

Fox promises that his party will work for “reclamation of our values”.

He announced his plans to establish a political party last month, aided by a £5m donation from a former Conservative Party donor.

The name is not yet registered with the Electoral Commission.

Deleted tweets

It is the second time in a week that Fox, an actor and free-speech advocate, has clashed with the charity sector.

Simon Blake, the chief executive of Mental First Aid England and the deputy chair of Stonewall, announced last Monday that he is suing Fox for defamation after an exchange on Twitter.

Fox has now deleted some of his tweets.

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