Michael Fabricant

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Michael Fabricant
MP
Michael Fabricant.jpg
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Bob Blizzard
Succeeded by Desmond Swayne
Member of Parliament
for Lichfield
Mid Staffordshire (1992–1997)
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Sylvia Heal
Majority 18,581 (34.7%)
Personal details
Born (1950-06-12) 12 June 1950 (age 68)
Brighton, Sussex, England
Political party Conservative
Education Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School
Alma mater Loughborough University
University of Sussex
Website Official website

Michael Louis David Fabricant (born 12 June 1950) is a British Conservative Party politician. A Member of Parliament since 1992 (initially for Mid Staffordshire), he has represented Lichfield in Staffordshire since 1997.[1]

Michael 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] He was dismissed from this position in April 2014 over the HS2 rail link and comments made about Maria Miller's resignation.

Personal life

Fabricant was born in Brighton, into a British Jewish family,[5] to Helena (née Freed; 1911–2004) and Isaac Fabricant (1906–1989).

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, by which time his work had taken him to many of the countries (48) where he established or re-equipped radio and TV stations including in Moscow, the Netherlands, Uganda, Italy, Sri Lanka, Kenya, New Zealand and Iceland.

Fellow Members of Parliament have frequently suggested that Fabricant's blonde hair is a wig.[7][8]

Parliamentary career

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, 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 a Member of Parliament since. He made his maiden speech on 2 July 1992.[9] The Mid Staffordshire seat was abolished at the 1997 general election, but Fabricant contested and won the Lichfield constituency, which partially replaced 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, and 18,189 in 2015.

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 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.[10] 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".[11]

Fabricant has taken part in a series of adjournment debates on government funding for inland waterways,[12] and has called for heavy goods freight to move off Britain's roads and back onto the restored canal network.[13]

Controversies

Fabricant "regularly courts controversy on Twitter" and has been 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". In her view, Conservatives like Fabricant think "people like me should be ayahs [domestic servants] or selling you curry."[19] 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.[20]

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".[21] 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.[21]

In a 2016 debate, Fabricant yelled "bollocks" over a discussion of the impacts of Brexit.[22] 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.

In 2018 Fabricant called a teenage constituent a 'complete twat' on Twitter.[23][24][25][26]

Other interests and private life

The Final Cut, BBC

Fabricant was political adviser to the 1995 BBC drama series The Final Cut. In the 'crossing the floor' speech scene from disgruntled Tom Makepeace (Paul Freeman), Fabricant can clearly be seen in a cameo role sitting next to Makepeace.

Celebrity First Dates, Channel 4

During Prime Minister's Question Time on 13 September 2017, the prime minister revealed that Fabricant is to appear 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".[27] Nearly two months later, at the beginning of November Fabricant came out as bisexual on First Dates. He describes himself as 'not exclusively gay'.[28]

Abuse scandal

Fabricant wrote in The Guardian that a false claim 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".[29]

Notes

  1. ^ "Lichfield Parliament Constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 21 April 2015. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Michael Fabricant". parliament.uk. 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Leak from Tories in Corby: "We have more pledges than Labour"". Political Scrapbook. 14 November 2012. 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. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Jessica Elgot. "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. 
  6. ^ "Michael Fabricant". michael.fabricant.mp.co.uk. 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Assinder, Nick (19 May 2000). "Ken's Latest Challenge to Blair". BBC News. London. Retrieved 25 January 2007. 
  8. ^ "Hansard: Commons Hansard Debates for 23 January 2007". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007. 
  9. ^ "Column 1009". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2 July 1992. col. 1009–1011. 
  10. ^ "Tories should consider UKIP pact, Michael Fabricant urges". BBC News. 26 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "In or out? Where does your MP stand on the EU debate?". www.expressandstar.com. 
  12. ^ "Adjournment debate on future of canals". Boating Business. Retrieved 28 October 2008. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Canals better for freight says MP". Lichfield Mercury. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b c Alexandra Topping, et al "Tory MP Michael Fabricant apologises for tweet saying he might punch female journalist", The Guardian, 20 June 2014
  15. ^ a b Oliver Wright "Michael Fabricant: Llamas, incest, bestiality, and the demise of the Tories’ Deputy Chairman", The Independent, 11 April 2014
  16. ^ George Eaton "Michael Fabricant sacked as Tory vice chairman", New Statesman, 9 April 2014
  17. ^ Heather Saul "Michael Fabricant blasted for tweet saying he would 'punch Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the throat'", The Independent, 20 June 2014
  18. ^ "MP Michael Fabricant apologises for 'punch journalist' joke", BBC News, 20 June 2014
  19. ^ Georgia Graham "Michael Fabricant attacked for discussing punching female journalist in the throat", The Telegraph, 20 June 2014
  20. ^ Michael Fabricant "Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the punch that never was", The Spectator (blog), 23 June 2014
  21. ^ a b "Baroness Warsi resignation -Twitter-backlash as Tory MP Michael Fabricant accused of suggesting Gaza is a Muslim issue". The Independent. London. 
  22. ^ "Tory MP Michael Fabricant Says Sorry For Shouting 'B******s' In Parliament". Huffington Post. 8 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "Michael Fabricant on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  24. ^ "Teen calls for apology over MP's tweet". BBC News. 2018-05-05. Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  25. ^ "Lichfield and Burntwood MP Michael Fabricant criticised for "disgusting" social media response to teenager". Lichfield Live. 2018-05-05. Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  26. ^ Larner, Tony (2018-05-05). "MP labels teenage voter 'complete t**t' in Twitter row". birminghammail. Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  27. ^ "Michael Fabricant to make Celebrity First Dates appearance". BBC News. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  28. ^ 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" – via www.telegraph.co.uk. 
  29. ^ Fabricant, Michael (1 November 2017). "I'm wrongly on the sexual abuse list. Parliament needs proper oversight". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 

External links

  • Michael Fabricant MP official site
  • Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
  • Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
  • Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
  • Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
  • Voting record at Public Whip
  • Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
  • Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
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
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