Michael fabricant

Backbenchers embrace blue on blue

It’s been a pretty bad-tempered leadership race thus far but at least most of the scrapping has been done by high profile ‘outriders’ of the two main candidates. Now though it seems that this penchant for ‘blue-on-blue’ attacks has spread to the backbenches too as Tory MPs take to Twitter to attack each other’s campaigns. First up this morning was Michael ‘Fabbers’ Fabricant launching one of his by-now routine attacks on Rishi Sunak, suggesting that everything about his campaign is ‘stage managed, preplanned, and never authentic.’ It prompted Simon Hoare, the standbearer of the Tory left, to fire off a terse response that seemingly poked fun at Fabricant’s infamous blonde

The battle over IPSA enters a new phase

MPs have never really got along with the new expenses body, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. But now their mood towards it seems to have become even frostier. I imagine that IPSA’s three-month anniversary, and the rather complacent-sounding celebrations that accompanied it, are something to do with that. Tom Harris’s wonderfully acerbic Birthday message, from a couple of days ago, captures how many MPs feel about the whole affair. In letters to the Telegraph today, Michael Fabricant and Denis MacShane ratchet up the attacks on IPSA. And while many will not see them as the ideal poster boys for a rebellion against an expenses watchdog, it’s worth remembering that they

Michael Fabricant’s hapless help

Oh dear. Tory loyalists have been out in force the past two days, desperate to save Boris Johnson’s flailing premiership. Mr S has heard of at least one boosterish Boris-backer quoting the words of Margaret Thatcher in November 1990: ‘I shall fight on, I fight to win!’ Unfortunately, as another MP muttered back: ‘Maggie resigned two days later.’ An excruciating interview by the Prime Minister on Tuesday backfired spectacularly, while the efforts of party whips to ‘encourage’ colleagues have resulted in Will Wragg denouncing them as ‘blackmail’ before his select committee today.  Still, cometh the hour, cometh the Fabricant. The honourable member for Lichfield has been doing his level best to dig


Keith Vaz and Crispin Blunt discuss the perks of poppers

‘I use poppers,’ Crispin Blunt declared this afternoon in the Commons as MPs gathered to voice opposition to the government’s proposals to ban the legal drug as part of the psychoactive substances bill: ‘I out myself as a popper user, and would be directly affected by this legislation and I’m astonished to find that it’s proposing to be banned and, frankly, so were many other gay men.’ The Conservative MP appeared to inspire Michael Fabricant to offer up an equally candid confession: I informed the Tea Room discussion on poppers that I had tried them, but that my bottom remains intacta. https://t.co/gTfgDB9Kj2 — Michael Fabricant 🇬🇧🇮🇱🇺🇦 (@Mike_Fabricant) January 20, 2016

Amber Rudd gets a rough ride at the despatch box – thanks to Boris

Over the weekend, Boris Johnson managed to plunge himself into another Cabinet row by announcing on Peston on Sunday that he thinks students should be excluded from the net migration numbers — because they are ‘of massive benefit to this country’. As is becoming a pattern, No 10 were quick to slap him down — with the Prime Minister’s spokesman insisting at lobby that ‘students will continue to be part of the figures’. Not that this stopped MPs having some fun with the comments today at Home Office questions. Andrew Tyrie kicked proceedings off by asking — in a convoluted manner — whether Rudd agreed that students should be removed from the tens of

Argentina’s ambassador to the UK trolls the Tory backbenchers

Nothing like a bit of Argie-bargie to get the Tory backbenchers going. Mr S has been passed a letter and booklet sent by the Argentine Embassy in London to all MPs concerning the ‘Malvinas’. According to the ambassador Alicia Castro: ‘The book provides and overview of the actions that we have been carrying out with regard to the Malvinas Question. We have built contacts with political authorities, trade unions and NGOs; we have participated in university debates; we have produced press articles and information campaigns, and we have visited the UK’s four constituent nations.’ It goes on to hope: ‘2015 will be the year in which the United Kingdom and Argentina

Michael Fabricant sharpens his attack on John Bercow

MPs are continuing to chip away at John Bercow as best they can. At questions following the Business Statement in the Commons this morning, Simon Burns repeated his question about that ‘floating’ letter that he mentioned after Prime Minister’s Questions and which the Prime Minister has been joking about to Tory MPs. Hague pointed out that ‘things do not float around in Number 10. That is not the way Number 10 operates, I’m very pleased to say. The Prime Minister has received a letter this week from you, Mr Speaker, I’m sure you don’t mind me saying, in which you ask that the appointment of Carol Mills is delayed further

Should I report my boyfriend to the police?

Driving along in the car, listening to the radio news, the boyfriend turned to me and said he thought the Michael Fabricant row a very strange one. Fabricant was being pilloried for having tweeted that he could never go on television with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown because he might ‘end up punching her in the throat’, but my man said he didn’t see what the fuss was about. ‘After all,’ he said, ‘I feel like punching you about 50 times a day.’ Reader, be assured, he was joking. Victims’ groups, hold your horses while I explain. My beloved was pretending to have punching urges for the purposes of humour. Do you see?

This storm about Michael Fabricant is nonsense

Oh come on internet. Pull yourself together. Michael Fabricant has tweeted about punching a woman and people are going mad. It’s a silly thing to tweet, but does anyone doubt that? It’s simply hyperbole, flounce, floridity. That’s sometimes what it takes to get noticed on Twitter. Plenty of people are guilty of this trope. Let’s not pay them too much attention. But let’s not also drag this out into a discussion about violence against women. Victims of abuse must find this sort of storm very frustrating – I imagine most men who actually punch women probably don’t tweet about it.

Whips relaxed as HS2 bill faces small rebellion at second reading

The High-Speed Rail Bill pops up in the Commons on Monday – with two attempts to kill it off planned. Michael Fabricant and Cheryl Gillan – whose constituencies would both be affected by the proposed route – have both drawn up motions which call for the House of Commons to decline to give the Bill a second reading. Fabricant was sacked from his position as Vice Chair of the Conservative party for pushing ahead with his motion (and a number of other things, too) and has the support of Sir Edward Leigh, Jeremy Lefroy, David Davis, David Nuttall, William Cash, Caroline Spelman, Bob Blackman, Chris Kelly and Andrew Turner. Gillan,

Michael Fabricant sacked: what about other HS2 opponents?

It’s difficult to know what astonished people more about Michael Fabricant’s sacking: that he has lost his job or that he was still in a role that required some semblance of collective responsibility. Shortly after assuming the role of Vice Chair of the Conservative Party, he called for a pact with Ukip. Some of his tweets have raised eyebrows. He said it was ‘about time’ that Maria Miller resigned. But the final straw that led party chairman Grant Shapps to ask him to think about resigning from his job was that Fabricant had tabled this wrecking amendment to the HS2 Bill: That this House, while recognising the ever-increasing need for

The answer to the West Lothian Question is to stop asking it

Here we go again. It’s time for an English parliament! Actually, it’s time for a new Act of Union! Says who? Says Michael Fabricant in today’s Telegraph. Mark Wallace at ConservativeHome agrees.  English votes for English laws!  Well, fine. It’s a respectable, even laudable, view. But, as we shall see, it is not a very conservative view at all. It may be rational but that alone should be make Tories sceptical of its merits. At best the creation of an “English parliament” within Westminster solves one small anomaly at the cost of creating another, much larger, one. In any case, Fabricant has his history wrong. For instance, he writes that: My constituents see their health and education services voted

‘We aren’t connecting with the electorate’: Michael Fabricant on the Tory election challenge

The only Tory more Tiggerish than Michael Fabricant is the party chairman Grant Shapps, and perhaps that’s why the two work so well together on campaigns. But even the jovial Conservative vice chairman is exhausted after the full-throttle Eastleigh by-election. Fabricant was shouted at in the street by a voter who, thinking he was a Lib Dem, harangued him about Chris Huhne, and one voter placed notice on a wheelie bin telling campaigners to dump their leaflets there, not through the letterbox. But in spite of that, from the glowing way he describes the campaign, you might be forgiven for thinking the Tories won it, or at least came second,

Michael Fabricant calls for Tory pact with UKIP

Boris Johnson’s surprise rejection of an In/Out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union last night may have been an attempt to help David Cameron as he prepares to set out his own position on the EU, but the Prime Minister will find he’s not in for an easy ride from his own parliamentary party. As helpful as the Mayor might have been, his intervention has been rather overshadowed by a discussion paper from the Tory party vice chairman, Michael Fabricant, in which the former whip calls for a pact with UKIP. Fabricant’s plan follows the offer to the Tories which Nigel Farage set out in the pages of

Andrew Mitchell’s predecessor is ‘sorely missed’, jokes former whip

While some of his colleagues were dabbing tears from their eyes or pacing their Portcullis House offices in fury after being dumped by David Cameron in the reshuffle, Michael Fabricant seemed rather excited about his new-found freedom. The former whip tweeted on the day he resigned as a government whip that he was ‘ecstatic. Been kissed by 3 women (&1 man) MP’. He has since considered dressing up as Andrew Mitchell at a ‘highlights of 2012’ party, and gone in search of a pair of ‘toffs and plebs’ cufflinks in honour of the chief whip. So it was no surprise that today Fabricant decided to launch a smart little jibe