LAURENCE Fox launched his campaign to become Mayor of London today by calling on Boris Johnson to free the capital from lockdown immediately.
The controversial former actor turned political campaigner is taking on Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey in the contest on May 6.
He has launched a new “anti-woke” movement, called the Reclaim Party, which is pushing for the lifting of all Coronavirus restrictions.
The ex TV star appeared on an open top red bus with the words “free London” emblazoned along the side.
He declared: “I am here to reclaim your freedom. We need to unlock London now. Free London in time for Easter, Boris Johnson.”
Mr Fox, who was married to Billie Piper and starred in crime drama Lewis from 2006-2015, has repeatedly courted controversy since leaving acting.
In January last year he sparked fury with remarks on Question Time about the media’s treatment of Meghan Markle.
The panel was discussing whether coverage of the Duchess of Sussex of was racially motivated.
But he said the row was “boring” and claimed: “It’s not racism. We’re the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.”
Later that month he caused further controversy by saying black and working class actors only complain about social justice “after becoming famous”.
He said: “The most annoying thing is the minute a black actor – it’s the same with working class actors – the minute they’ve got five million quid in the bank, every interview they do is about how racism is rampant and rife in the industry.
“And with working class actors, ‘There’s not enough working class actors’. You weren’t saying that when you didn’t have a f pot to piss in were you?”
In January this year he sparked a backlash after tweeting a picture of himself wearing a Covid mask “exemption badge” he bought on Amazon.
Mr Fox says he has been given £5 million, much of it from former Tory donors, to get his Reclaim Party off the ground.
Spending in the London mayoral contest is capped at £420,000 per candidate.
The party has been described by some Westminster insiders as “basically a Ukip for culture”.
In an interview announcing his run for City Hall earlier this month Mr Fox railed against the BBC, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
He also criticised Mr Khan and what he called his “nation hating cronies” in the Labour Party.
And he claimed he wants to “speak up for those who are being dominated into silence” by what he says is “extreme political correctness”.
He told the Telegraph: “The UK tax burden is at its highest level for 50 years. We have to get it under control. That’s why I am standing for London mayor.
“With almost all older and vulnerable people having got their jab, I want the lockdown lifted straight away.
“Both the main parties are competing in this dreary race to be the last to set the country free. Both Tory and Labour have got this badly wrong.
“I want London – and indeed the rest of the country – to be allowed to get back to work and play immediately – not by late June.”
He claimed the public debate on lockdown had been “strangled by government hell-bent on one ideology at the expense of all other considerations”.
And he added: “At what cost – in these lives and livelihoods – do lockdowns come, and why should it be heresy to question any aspect of this?
“Our children will pay for the damage done by this fear-led debate all their lives.”
Mr Fox has also claimed UK culture has reached a “crisis point” and that now “even mild patriotism is branded as racism”.
He said: “Deliberately or by apathy, our sense of who we are, where we are and what we are is being undermined.
“Boris Johnson says ‘there’s nothing wrong with being woke’.
“Keir Starmer takes the knee to a hard-left organisation that seeks to undermine all the things we hold dear, our families, our shared language and heritage.”
He added: “Sadiq Khan and his nation-hating cronies have their jealous eyes on our statues and institutions.
“Where does his desire to strip us of our history end? Surely Queen Victoria, the epitome of empire and white privilege, should be torn from her plinth in front of Buckingham Palace to be swiftly replaced with a monument to Greta Thunberg or Piers Morgan?
“Why are none of our politicians standing to defend us? I am livid at the disrespect being shown to the sacrifices made by previous generations to protect our values, tolerance and freedom. This extreme political correctness must be resisted.”