Michael Fabricant vows to keep on tweeting despite controversy

Michael Fabricant has insisted he will continue tweeting – despite admitting that one posting had undone 20 years of work.

The MP for Lichfield and Burntwood has been at the centre of a furore after putting a message on Twitter about the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

He told followers on the social network that if he appeared on a debate with her he would “either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat”.

The comment led to widespread criticism, including a rebuke from the Prime Minister, with a Conservative spokesman saying Mr Fabricant had been “slapped down” by the party.

But the MP has said he has no intention of cutting back on his Twitter activity.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

“I have been described as being one of the most prolific tweeters out there since leaving the Government,” he wrote in a blog on The Spectator. “At last count I have sent over 23,000 tweets.

“I use it for a number of reasons, primarily to try and prove that not all politicians are programmed robots who just espouse straplines and have their photos taken at village fetes. This is important, because so many people do not believe in politicians and they certainly do not believe in our politics.

“If they tweet me, I more often than not tweet them back. Quite often, that has meant being risqué and sometimes tweeting a lot of nonsense. But my 17,000 followers understand this and they retweet me sometimes reaching 2.5 million people in just one week.”

But he recognised that his controversial tweet had overstepped the mark.

Mr Fabricant said: “I tweeted something that cannot be excused and something for which I am still deeply embarrassed and ashamed.

“I immediately apologised as soon as I realised my mistake.

“In just 140 characters, I appeared to have undone over 20 years of voting record that demonstrated what I believe and how passionately I feel about these issues.

“So what I tweeted cannot be excused and was simply wrong. Of course I do not and have never believed that it is acceptable for a man to hit a woman – or a man come to that (or even joke about doing so).

“There is an instantaneousness about Twitter which means that once the button is pressed, there is no going back.

“I made a mistake not only in what I said last Friday, but in the fact that I naively thought people reading the tweet would know who I was and what I truly stand for.

“I hoped that those who read the tweet carefully would understand that, bad though it undoubtedly was to mention assault, it was totally hypothetical in circumstances that would never arise and, besides, that I am just not like that. I was wrong.

“I won’t stop tweeting because of one mistake, but I do ask to be judged on my record and on what I actually believe.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

3 Comments

  1. Darryl

    25th June, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I use it for a number of reasons, primarily to try and prove that not all politicians are programmed robots who just espouse straplines and have their photos taken at village fetes.

    Anyone who has followed Mr Fabricant on Twitter can testify that this sort of stuff makes up the majority of his tweets.

    Aside from re-tweeting sycophantic “at” messages, I’d say his tweet persona is hardly ground-breaking or informative.

  2. Joe atherstone

    25th June, 2014 at 11:22 am

    What is interesting is the reaction to Fabricant for his tweet and a general consensus that he was wrong to say he’d punch someone, and todays news reports of some woman from coronation street threatening to punch josie cunningham which seem to have been fully supported by the public.
    One is a racist bigot that writes hateful newspaper stories, in my opinion of course. The other is some one that is immature, of loose morals, in my opinion, and has taken advantage of the legally available benefits that she’s legally entitled to and bragged about them as if she’s not, thus winding tax payers up and giving ‘newspapers’ an excuse to bully her and put her kids at risk of hate crime. So much risk that they now need a taxi to take them to school.
    The public condemn the first and condone the second.

  3. A Cynical Parody

    25th June, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Of course he’ll carry on his social media crusade.
    The Clown Prince of Twankers is addicted to massaging his ego and garnering praise from a small army of fawning acolytes for his succession of aimless witticisms, shameless self promotion and stereotypical Tory Labour-baiting.
    Far from improving the image of politicians, he seems hell-bent on reinforcing the belief that our esteemed elected members are only in it for themselves.
    He has merely discovered yet another platform to shout loud and proud about himself – he’s a Twanker, as he likes to remind us every day on Twitter.