Laurence Fox has returned to Twitter after a temporary ban for posting a picture of a swastika symbol made of LGBTQ+ flags – and has now hit back at comedian Kathy Burke over a critical tweet.
The actor and right-wing political activist shared a video about Burke on Monday evening.
It came after he saw his Twitter account locked temporarily for violating the social media platform’s rules on abusive profile information and hateful imagery.
Fox had updated his profile picture with the swastika image on Sunday, saying he had done so “for the remainder of the holy month”, leading to criticism from organisations including the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Pride month is celebrated each year in June.
On Monday, Burke tweeted: “The existence of Lawrence Fox (sic) is another reason to be pro abortion.”
Fox, 44, initially responded to the post by retweeting it and saying: “You used to be funny.”
However, he later shared a video message about the post with his 311,000 followers, saying he was mostly “bothered” by the fact Burke had “brought my mother into it” and called her a “failed ex-comedian”.
Fox’s mother died in 2020.
In his video, the actor said: “So basically, Kathy Burke is saying that she wished I was dead. Okay. You know, that’s fairly standard for Twitter. You don’t really get reported or banned for that. And she’s then conflated that with the issue of abortion, which is a very difficult choice for lots of women and men and people who are going through such a difficult time.
“But the thing that’s really bothered me more than anything, if I’m really honest, is the fact that she even brought my mother into it… she wouldn’t have been able to understand where Kathy Burke’s thinking comes from, because what my mum was, she was sound of mind. She was incredibly fair. She loved people, genuinely loved people. And she taught us to love people as well and to be kind.
“And she didn’t care about whether you disagreed politically or in any other ideological way. She just wanted everyone to be heard and for everyone to have a voice, which is why I care about free speech.
“And I’m grateful every single day that I was blessed with such an amazing mother. So for Kathy Burke to conflate that and say that she wishes that I was aborted is a great dishonour of my mother, because my mother was a very, very, very deeply compassionate, intelligent, powerful, independent…
“More generally, isn’t it sad that people are so full of absolute hatred?”
Fox went on say the Pride movement was “started by gay people to get equality, which we all believe in” but had been “totally taken over to become something very, very different now”.
Burke has not responded to Fox’s video message.
Following Fox’s initial swastika post, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said in a statement: “We are appalled to see Laurence Fox’s vile tweet this morning with abhorrent use of the swastika. Gay men experienced untold suffering under the Nazis, including murder, castration and medical experimentation.”
They then shared further information about the Nazi persecution of gay people.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism charity tweeted: “Displaying pride flags in the shape of a swastika is not the edgy statement that you think it is. It is possible to express a view without the hate, and without insulting those murdered by the Nazis, which included Jews and LGBT people.”
Meanwhile, Fox is facing a lawsuit by former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake, ex-Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal over an online row in October 2020, with the next court hearing due to take place later in the year.
In 2020, he launched the Reclaim political party to “fight the culture wars” and in 2021 announced a bid to run for Mayor of London.