MARIE Rimmer has blasted the controversial decision to give a peerage to former communist activist Claire Fox due to her historical comments on the Warrington bombings.

Former MEP Claire Fox was among 36 people to be given a seat in the House of Lords on Friday but the decision has sparked controversy due to historical comments she has made about the Warrington bombings.

Ms Fox is a former core activist and organiser for the Revolutionary Communist Party.

St Helens Star:

Claire Fox

After the 1993 IRA Warrington bombing, which killed Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, the Revolutionary Communist Party’s official newsletter stated that they defended "the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom".

Ms Fox was also a member of the Irish Freedom Movement, which backed dissident republicanism.

More recently, Ms Fox was an MEP for the Brexit Party, elected in May 2019 until the country's exit from the EU on January 31.

She is also the director and founder of the Institute of Ideas think tank.

St Helens Star:

Claire Fox with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

There have been calls from various quarters for the Prime Minister to block Ms Fox's peerage, which Ms Rimmer has echoed.

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On the decision to give Ms Fox a peerage, St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer said: “Claire Fox’s comments are an attack on decency, and she still refuses to apologise for them. Attempting to justify the murder of two young boys is disgraceful. There is no defence for that barbaric act.

“To have a terrorist attack so close to home was truly shocking. That awful day back in 1993 is one that I will never forget, and I hope it is one that will never be repeated. The appointment of Claire Fox is offensive to all of us that remember that day, and I am sure like me many of you still do.

“The House of Lords still has a powerful role in British democracy and Claire Fox should have no place in it. It’s now up to the Prime Minister to do the right thing and stop it.”

St Helens Star:

Marie Rimmer

Warrington North Labour MP Charlotte Nichols has written to the Prime Minister to urge him to use his power to block the nomination.

She said: “To allow Ms Fox to become a life peer would be to show crass insensitivity to victims of terrorism and to the communities still scarred by the attack 27 years on."

A No 10 spokesman said: "Claire Fox has addressed her historic comments about the Troubles and acknowledged the pain that the families of the victims of terrorism have faced.

"She is not a Conservative peer, and her political views will differ from those of the Conservative Government."