English actor and right-wing political activist Laurence Fox is seeking for his libel lawsuit to be heard by a jury – in what would be the first libel trial to be heard by a jury in a decade.
The request comes after Fox was sued by charity boss Simon Blake, Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Crystal and Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp, over tweets in which called them “peadophiles”.
In turn, Fox is currently countersuing the trio, over tweets accusing him of racism, after he called on shoppers to boycott Sainsbury’s over its support for Black History Month.
The ex-London mayoral candidate claimed there is a risk of “involuntary bias” on the part of the judge, in determining whether he is racist or not, due to the “expansive” definition of racism adopted by the Judicial College last year.
Fox’s barristers also argued that letting a jury hear the case would prevent any decision from being undermined by “lazy” claims that “a white judge” had sided with a “white man who denied being racist.”
If granted a jury trial, the case would become the first libel case to be heard by a jury since Frankie Boyle sued the Daily Mirror in 2012.