|Birth||12 June 1950, Brighton|
Michael Louis David Fabricant (born 12 June 1950) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the member of Parliament for the Lichfield constituency in Staffordshire.
Michael Fabricant was the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party for Parliamentary Campaigning, responsible for Conservative headquarters strategy on marginal seats at the 2015 general election, as well as by-elections. He was dismissed from this position in April 2014 over the HS2 rail link and comments made about Maria Miller's resignation.
Fabricant was born in Brighton, into a British Jewish family, to Helena (née Freed; 1911-2004) and Isaac Fabricant (1906-1989). All of his grandparents were born in Russia. He 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.
He was appointed director of the International Broadcasting Electronics and Investment Group in 1979, remaining there until 1991, by which time his work had taken him to Moscow, the Netherlands, Uganda, Italy and Iceland. He 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 Westminster.
Fabricant was first elected at the 1992 general election for Mid Staffordshire, regaining the seat for the Conservatives following Sylvia Heal's victory 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. 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, 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. Following the Conservative defeat at the 1997 general election, Fabricant joined the (renamed) 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. 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".
Fabricant "regularly courts controversy on Twitter" and has been criticised for joking about bestiality with llamas when asked about his sexuality. 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 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. He opposes HS2 on the grounds of its financial and environmental cost.
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." Gloria De Piero, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equality, described the tweet as "utterly appalling" while a Conservative Party spokesman commented that the MP's comment was "completely unacceptable". Fabricant subsequently apologised, 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." 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.
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". 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.
In a 2016 debate Fabricant yelled "Bollocks" over a discussion of the impacts of Brexit. 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.
Other interests and private life
Fabricant was the 'political adviser' to the BBC series The Final Cut. In the 'crossing the floor' speech scene from disgruntled Tom Makepeace (actor Paul Freeman), Fabricant can clearly be seen sitting next to Makepeace in a cameo. Fabricant is easily recognisable in the Commons with his bright blond hair, which sketchwriters and fellow Members of Parliament have frequently suggested is a wig.
His website lists his interests as fell-walking, canal-boating, skiing, Mozart operas, listening to The Archers and eating out. He has taken part in a series of adjournment debates on government funding for inland waterways, and has called for heavy goods freight to move off Britain's roads and back onto the restored canal network. Fabricant is able to speak reasonable French and German, and also some Dutch and Russian.