Michael Fabricant

Michael Louis David Fabricant (born 12 June 1950) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1992: for Mid Staffordshire until 1997, and since then for Lichfield in Staffordshire.[1]

Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant.jpg
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byBob Blizzard
Succeeded byDesmond Swayne
Member of Parliament
for Lichfield
Mid Staffordshire (1992–1997)
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded bySylvia Heal
Majority23,638 (45.2%)
Personal details
Born (1950-06-12) 12 June 1950 (age 70)
Brighton, Sussex, England
Political partyConservative
EducationBrighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School
Alma materLoughborough University
University of Sussex
WebsiteOfficial website

Fabricant was the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party for parliamentary campaigning,[2] responsible for Conservative headquarters strategy on marginal seats at the 2015 general election, as well as by-elections,[3][4] but was dismissed from this position in April 2014 over comments he had made about his colleague Maria Miller's recent resignation.

Early lifeEdit

Fabricant was born in Brighton on 12 June 1950, into a British Jewish family,[5] to Helena (née Freed; 1911–2004) and Rabbi Isaac Fabricant (1906–1989), Rabbi of the Brighton and Hove Synagogue.

Fabricant attended Brighton Secondary Technical School and Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School. He studied economics at Loughborough University, receiving a bachelor of science degree. He went on to study at the University of Sussex, where he was awarded a master's degree in systems and econometrics in 1974, and postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, University of London, and the University of Southern California in economic forecasting.[6] He was joint managing director of an international broadcasting electronics and Investment group in 1979, remaining there until 1991.[citation needed]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Fabricant unsuccessfully contested the safe Labour stronghold of South Shields at the 1987 general election, coming in 13,851 votes behind victor David Clark. Fabricant was appointed the chairman of the Brighton Pavilion Conservative Association in 1990 and remained chairman until his election to the House of Commons.

Fabricant was first elected at the 1992 general election for Mid Staffordshire (which included the town of Lichfield), regaining the seat for the Conservatives following Sylvia Heal gaining the seat for Labour at the 1990 by-election. He took the seat with a majority of 6,236 and has remained an MP since. He made his maiden speech on 2 July 1992.[7] The Mid Staffordshire seat was abolished at the 1997 general election, but Fabricant contested and won the Lichfield constituency, which was the main seat to replace it, by just 238 votes (0.51%). He has remained the Lichfield MP since, progressively increasing his majority to 4,426 in 2001, 7,080 in 2005, 17,683 in 2010, 18,189 in 2015, 18,581 in 2017 and 23,638 in 2019.

In Parliament, Fabricant joined the European Legislation Select committee in 1992 on which he served until the 1997 general election. He also joined the National Heritage Select Committee in 1993 and was a member of that committee until his appointment as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury Michael Jack in 1996. After the Conservative defeat at the 1997 general election, Fabricant joined the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee until moving to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1999. He rejoined the Culture, Media and Sport committee following the 2001 general election, and also at this time became the chairman of the Information Committee. He moved up to the Opposition frontbench as a trade and industry spokesman under Michael Howard in 2003. Later in the year he was moved to the post of spokesman on economic affairs. He became an Opposition Whip following the 2005 general election and remained in the position following the appointment of new leader David Cameron. In 2008, Fabricant founded Conservative Friends of America.[8]

In November 2012, Fabricant published a pamphlet entitled "The Pact" which called for a political pact between UKIP and the Conservative Party, in exchange for an In/Out EU referendum.[9] In the 2016 EU Referendum campaign Fabricant said he would be voting to leave the EU. A staunch believer in free trade, he commented: "I think we are part of a global economy and that we will be far wealthier trading globally than the current situation".[10]

Fabricant has taken part in a series of adjournment debates on government funding for inland waterways,[11] and has called for heavy goods freight to move off Britain's roads and back onto the restored canal network.[12]

In the House of Commons, he sits on the Administration Committee and has previously sat on the Committee of Selection, the Finance and Services Committee, the Liaison Committee (Commons), the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the Home Affairs Committee and the National Heritage Committee.[13]

Fabricant has frequently caused controversy through his use of social media and was criticised for joking about bestiality with llamas when asked about his sexuality.[14] Fabricant was sacked as vice-chairman of the Conservative Party after he tweeted "about time" with regards to Maria Miller's resignation as cabinet minister.[15] George Eaton of the New Statesman believed his sacking related to his threat to rebel over the HS2 rail development and was necessary to deter other potential Conservative rebels on the same issue.[16] He opposes HS2 on the grounds of its financial and environmental cost.[15]

In June 2014, he came under further criticism when, following an exchange between Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Rod Liddle on Channel 4 News the evening before, he tweeted that he "could never appear" on a discussion programme with her, as he "would either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat."[17] Gloria De Piero, then Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, described the tweet as "utterly appalling"[14] while a Conservative Party spokesman commented that the MP's comment was "completely unacceptable".[18] Fabricant subsequently apologised,[14] but Alibhai-Brown thought his apology was "useless". A few days later, Fabricant wrote that he was "still deeply embarrassed and ashamed" and his tweet "appeared to have undone" his socially liberal voting record over the last 20 years.[19]

In August 2014, after Sayeeda Warsi resigned from David Cameron's government over its policy towards Israel's Operation Protective Edge, Fabricant was criticised for a Twitter remark that appeared to suggest Gaza was a "Muslim issue".[20] He subsequently clarified that he believed that Gaza was a humanitarian issue and that his comment about Warsi's "strong views on Muslim issues" was more general.[20]

In a 2016 debate, Fabricant yelled "bollocks" over a discussion of the impacts of Brexit.[21] He was expressing disagreement with the former Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly's statement that the UK law firms could lose £1.7bn in earnings if UK was to leave the European Union.

Fabricant wrote in The Guardian in November 2017 to refute claims about him that had appeared on a Westminster dossier making assertions about the behaviour of Conservative MPs. He wrote that no one he had contacted, including lobby journalists and a former chief whip with an "elephantine memory", had previously heard the claim made against him of "inappropriate behaviour with a male journalist in a taxi".[22]

In 2018, Fabricant called a teenage constituent a 'complete twat' on Twitter after she had questioned his commitment to working in part of the constituency. Fabricant criticised the teen for not being clearer in detailing who she was and stated that he thought the post came from a 'Russian troll'.[23][24][25][26]

In July 2018, Fabricant was accused of being Islamophobic over a subsequently-deleted tweet he shared depicting London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is a Muslim, in a sex act with a pig. Some Labour MPs called for Fabricant's suspension and former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi responded, describing Islamophobia in the Tory party as "widespread". Fabricant said he had been distracted in a meeting when he sent it and did not spot what the image actually showed.[27] Fabricant was later criticised for having an apartheid-era flag of South Africa on display on the mantelpiece of his parliamentary office. He responded that he had several flags on display from countries where his former company had clients back in the 1980s. Asked if he now regretted working for what was effectively an arm of the apartheid state in South Africa, he replied: "There is so much we can all regret with hindsight…" and said he did not condone what was going on at the time.[28]

Media workEdit

The Final Cut, BBCEdit

Fabricant was political adviser to the 1995 BBC drama series The Final Cut and made a cameo appearance in the broadcast.[citation needed]

Celebrity First Dates, Channel 4Edit

During Prime Minister's Question Time on 13 September 2017, the prime minister said that Fabricant would be appearing on the Channel 4 series Celebrity First Dates. She asked: "What I'm not sure about is whether my honourable friend is the celebrity or the first date".[29] Nearly two months later, at the beginning of November, Fabricant came out as bisexual on First Dates.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Fabricant lives in London and Lichfield.[31][32] He is bisexual and has described himself as "not exclusively gay".[30]

In 2015 Fabricant was diagnosed with skin cancer and prostate cancer, undergoing a prostatectomy as treatment for the latter.[33] He spoke of his treatment for prostate cancer in the House of Commons the following year, highlighting the shortage of specialist prostate cancer nurses in the NHS. Controversially, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn sought to politicise Fabricant's illness, responding to his speech by stating he hoped "the treatment he got is the same treatment everyone else got". Following criticism, Corbyn apologised for his remarks.[34]

HairEdit

Fellow MPs have frequently suggested that Fabricant's blonde hair is a wig.[35][36] Fabricant has stated he has undergone some "enhancement of the follicular area", but has denied sporting a wig.[37]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Lichfield Parliament Constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 21 April 2015.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Michael Fabricant". parliament.uk. 2013. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Leak from Tories in Corby: "We have more pledges than Labour"". Political Scrapbook. 14 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  4. ^ Morris, Nigel (26 November 2012). "'It's war': Nigel Farage flatly rejects call from senior Tory for Ukip and Conservative EU pact at the general election". The Independent. London: INM. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ Jessica Elgot. "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 22 September 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Michael Fabricant". michael.fabricant.mp.co.uk. 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Column 1009". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2 July 1992. col. 1009–1011. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  8. ^ "About". Michael Fabricant. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Tories should consider UKIP pact, Michael Fabricant urges". BBC News. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  10. ^ "In or out? Where does your MP stand on the EU debate?". www.expressandstar.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Adjournment debate on future of canals". Boating Business. Retrieved 28 October 2008.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Canals better for freight says MP". Lichfield Mercury. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Marcus Jones". Parliament UK. Archived from the original on 13 July 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Alexandra Topping, et al "Tory MP Michael Fabricant apologises for tweet saying he might punch female journalist" Archived 8 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 20 June 2014
  15. ^ a b Oliver Wright "Michael Fabricant: Llamas, incest, bestiality, and the demise of the Tories’ Deputy Chairman" Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 11 April 2014
  16. ^ George Eaton "Michael Fabricant sacked as Tory vice chairman" Archived 26 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, New Statesman, 9 April 2014
  17. ^ Heather Saul "Michael Fabricant blasted for tweet saying he would 'punch Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the throat'" Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 20 June 2014
  18. ^ "MP Michael Fabricant apologises for 'punch journalist' joke" Archived 15 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 20 June 2014
  19. ^ Michael Fabricant "Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the punch that never was" Archived 25 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, The Spectator (blog), 23 June 2014
  20. ^ a b "Baroness Warsi resignation -Twitter-backlash as Tory MP Michael Fabricant accused of suggesting Gaza is a Muslim issue". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Tory MP Michael Fabricant Says Sorry For Shouting 'B******s' In Parliament". Huffington Post. 8 March 2016. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016.
  22. ^ Fabricant, Michael (1 November 2017). "I'm wrongly on the sexual abuse list. Parliament needs proper oversight". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 November 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Michael Fabricant on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Teen calls for apology over MP's tweet". BBC News. 5 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Lichfield and Burntwood MP Michael Fabricant criticised for "disgusting" social media response to teenager". Lichfield Live. 5 May 2018. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  26. ^ Larner, Tony (5 May 2018). "MP labels teenage voter 'complete t**t' in Twitter row". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Tory MP Michel Fabricant accused of Islamophobia over Sadiq Khan tweet". BBC News. 13 July 2018. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  28. ^ "FactCheck: Michael Fabricant's apartheid flag". Channel 4 News. 13 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Michael Fabricant to make Celebrity First Dates appearance". BBC News. 13 September 2017. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  30. ^ a b McCann, Kate (13 September 2017). "PM jokes about Michael Fabricant's new-found fame as Tory MP confirms he will star in celebrity dating show". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  31. ^ "IPSA record". IPSA. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  32. ^ "MPs' expenses: minister's home is from a great stately estate". The Daily Telegraph. 19 November 2012. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  33. ^ Lichfield MP reveals he has been treated for early signs of prostate cancer - Lichfield Live
  34. ^ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/politics/2016/10/12/prime-ministers-questions-michael-fabricant-applauded-in-commons-after-praising-his-wonderful-nhs-prostate-treatment/
  35. ^ Assinder, Nick (19 May 2000). "Ken's Latest Challenge to Blair". BBC News. London. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  36. ^ "Hansard: Commons Hansard Debates for 23 January 2007". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  37. ^ "Tory MP Michael Fabricant hits back over 'wig jibe'". BBC News. 23 January 2019. Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sylvia Heal
Member of Parliament
for Mid Staffordshire

19921997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Lichfield

1997–present
Incumbent