Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant explains House of Commons doughnut decision

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

Lichfield’s MP has said he hopes his decision to brandish a doughnut in the House of Commons will raise awareness about one of the effects of binge drinking.

Michael Fabricant was making a point regarding the fat content of alcoholic drinks during a debate when he used the doughnut to highlight his point – a move which broke Commons etiquette which frowns upon the use of visual aids in debates.

The Conservative MP asked Health Minister Gillian Merrion:

“A good way to control binge drinking is to try and highlight to people and publicise the amount of kilocalories in a drink. Red wine is 171 calories, alcopops 187, a pint of lager 287 – which is actually more than this doughnut, which I just got in the tea room.

“When will you start to publicise these facts?”

The Minister replied:

“I thank you for bringing your snacks into the chamber, and of course the important thing is what’s on labels on alcohol and we have just launched a consultation on that.”

Speaking to The Lichfield Blog after the debate, Mr Fabricant explained why he’d decided to risk the wrath of the House by drawing attention to his doughnut.

He said:

“I wanted to illustrate the point that alcoholic drinks which are not obviously fattening can be as filled with calories as a jam donut so I brought one into the Chamber to make my point.  In theory, you are not supposed to bring props, let alone food into the Chamber, but the Speaker seemed happy enough with it all.

“And it worked.  Several women MPs came up to me and said they had no idea drinks were so fattening.  I just think if some people knew this, it would help to counter binge drinking.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

5 Comments

  1. Stephan Rinke

    24th February, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Finally, somebody takes on board common sense knowledge about speaking (in public) such as using visuals and it its frowned upon. If Mr Fabricant or anyone else wants to read up on making arguments stick better, I recommend “Made to stick” by Chip and Dan Heath (http://www.madetostick.com/)

  2. Andy F

    24th February, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Mickey Fabs message is clear – “Doughnut drink too much.”

  3. mikeyboy

    25th February, 2010 at 10:58 am

    ahhh so thats where beer bellys come from then …… ^^

  4. Andy F

    25th February, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Is Michael Fabricant our Low Cal  M.P?

  5. nonoftheabove

    21st April, 2010 at 11:10 am

    was the doughnut purchased on expenses?.