Watch: Laurence Fox films police officer at front door following COVID rule-break claims
Laurence Fox was visited by police officers at his home this morning after he was accused of breaking COVID rules surrounding election campaigning.
Fox, who leads the newly launched Reclaim Party and is standing to be mayor of London, posted a video of the encounter to Twitter this morning.
He described the visit as a “bit of mild intimidation to start the day”, writing alongside the clip: “Meanwhile actual crime is off the charts.
“You’re just making me more determined to reclaim our freedom.”
The officer in the clip told Fox, 42, he had been reported “for breaking COVID rules” while campaigning but admitted that they had no “evidence per se at the moment”.
Ahead of the elections in May, the government has published guidance on the rules surrounding campaigning.
They state that individual activists “will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way”, while individual campaigners are allowed to deliver leaflets and “engage with electors on their doorsteps”.
However, the rules also state that outdoor activity “remains prohibited” and warn campaigners that current national lockdown rules should continue to be followed.
The officer in the clip informs Fox that door-to-door leafleting is permitted but that he was accused of “meeting big groups in London and running your campaign that way”.
He says: “We haven't got any evidence of that per se at the moment but we wanted to sort of let you know to be mindful about what is being reported.”
The officer goes on to tell Fox to “be mindful that the rules are changing on a fairly regular basis”, advising him to “keep yourself up to date with what is the current rule before you do anything, go out and meet anybody”.
The encounter ends amicably, with Fox telling the officers to “have a lovely day”.
Fox, who started the Reclaim Party to fight the “culture wars” and to "reclaim British values", is standing against current mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who is on course to win a second term, according to polling.
Yahoo News UK has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.
Fox’s pitch to be mayor of London also includes a call to end lockdown immediately, something that rival Khan has fought against, urging the prime minister to reject similar demands from some Tory backbenchers.
Fox has been no stranger to controversy over the past year.
An appearance on Question Time saw him argue with an audience member who insisted Meghan Markle was a victim of racist abuse.
His anti-lockdown stance has seen him describe the police as "despicable" during protests calling for the government to end restrictions immediately.
He told the Evening Standard recently that the country should “be having a conversation about whether lockdowns actually work”.
He also came out against vaccine passports and said the vaccines “should be a sovereign decision for yourself”.
He also said he would no longer shop at Sainsbury’s due to the store creating safe spaces for Black employees, because they "support racial segregation and discrimination”.
In November, while England was in a second lockdown, Fox said he had invited a “large group” of friends over to his house for lunch.
He tweeted at the time: “If the NHS can’t cope, then the NHS isn’t fit for purpose”.
Responding to Fox’s statements, Piers Morgan told him to “shut up” on live television.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Morgan said: “Seriously. Why don’t you think about the NHS, think about these heroic people who right now in hospitals all around the country are continuing to save lives of complete strangers who have COVID-19, this lethal virus.”
He continued: “Think about all the people in care homes who can’t see their loved ones because they’re abiding by the rules because they don’t want to kill their parents or grandparents.”
In January 2020, Fox apologised for referring to the “oddness in the casting" of a Sikh soldier in World War One movie 1917.
After historians made Fox aware of the contribution of Sikhs in the British Army during the war, Fox tweeted: "Fellow humans who are Sikhs, I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour.
"Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I expressed myself.”
A recent mayoral poll found 2% support for "other" candidates in the election – including Fox – while Khan stood at 53%.
Watch: Sadiq Khan launches campaign for second term as mayor of London