Laurence Fox’s London mayor hopes end after errors filling in forms

<span>Laurence Fox with his girlfriend Liz Parker at a Turning Point UK protest in Whitehall last week.</span><span>Photograph: Tayfun Salcı/Zuma/Rex</span>
Laurence Fox with his girlfriend Liz Parker at a Turning Point UK protest in Whitehall last week.Photograph: Tayfun Salcı/Zuma/Rex

The former actor Laurence Fox will not be a candidate at the London mayoral elections after failing to fill in the nomination forms correctly.

London Elects, which administers the mayoral and London Assembly elections, said the Reclaim party leader had submitted the papers shortly before the deadline on Wednesday, which were subsequently found to contain errors.

Fox, who last acted on screens in a 2022 film distributed by the far-right website Breitbart, is understood to have failed to provide enough signatures of support in two London boroughs, while three supporters from other boroughs could not be found in records.

Fox, who has been the leader of the rightwing populist Reclaim party since 2020, claimed on X in since-deleted posts that the actions were the result of “political corruption”. In response, London Elects issued a lengthy rebuttal.

London Elects said: “The Reclaim party candidate’s representatives met with London Elects for the first time on Tuesday 26 March, less than 24 hours before the close of the nominations deadline. At that time, the paperwork was incomplete.

“Mr Fox’s representatives were advised to ensure that completed forms were submitted well before the Wednesday 4pm statutory deadline. The paperwork was submitted very shortly before 4pm.

“Upon inspection, the nomination forms contained errors which – the deadline having passed – were too late for Mr Fox’s team to correct. The conclusion of London Elects was that the requirements of the nomination process were not completed by the deadline.

“The Greater London Returning Officer is bound by electoral law and has no ability to allow anything other than fully compliant nominations, submitted by the deadline, to stand.”

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In his deleted posts, Fox claimed that his party had “checked, double checked and then triple checked our nominations” and would appeal against the decision, which he claimed was the result of “political corruption”. It is understood that there is no avenue for appealing against the decision by London Elects.

In an email also tweeted by the actor, election officials said nomination papers from two boroughs did not have the 10 supporters required, while three supporters from other boroughs “could not be reconciled to voter register records”.

The email said Fox would be refunded the £20,000 fee and deposit paid for the mayoral nomination, plus another £5,000 Reclaim had overpaid “in error”.

At the last London mayoral election in 2021, Fox received 47,634 votes – less than 2% of the total cast – and lost his £10,000 deposit, which is returned to candidates who receive more than 5% of the vote.

In June 2023, Fox contested the 2023 Uxbridge and South Ruislip byelection triggered by Boris Johnson’s resignation. Fox received 2.3% of the vote, finishing fourth and losing his deposit.

The media watchdog ruled this month that an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News broke broadcasting rules for when Fox questioned who would want to “shag” a female journalist. The remarks made by Fox, who was subsequently sacked from the channel, in which he asked “Who would want to shag that?” about JOE Media’s political correspondent Ava Evans, received 8,867 complaints.

The full list of candidates for the mayoral election is expected to be published on Thursday afternoon. The two main candidates are expected to be the Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan and the Conservative Susan Hall.