Lichfield’s MP has been called “shameful” after saying claims a lack of Government support measures during the coronavirus crisis had led to suicides had been debunked.

Michael Fabricant made his comments in an email to a member of the Excluded UK group.

The organisation – which is campaigning for more support for 3million businesses and individuals it says have not been supported during the pandemic – criticised the Conservative MP’s response.

It comes after the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said people had taken their own lives because they had not been given any support:

Mr Fabricant wrote in his reply to the Excluded UK member:

“It is very easy for those not responsible for the nation’s finances to ask for more and more additional funds.

“While I have huge sympathy for the self-employed, the Treasury has to balance up the short and long term gains and losses to the economy every time more taxpayer expenditure is asked of them.

“With regard to claims regarding suicides relating to this issue, these have been debunked as other factors were involved.”

Michael Fabricant MP

A spokesperson for Excluded UK said the MP’s comments were “shameful”.

“I can promise the suicides haven’t been ‘debunked’ – I have attended one of the funerals myself.

“We are also not asking for additional funds, we are asking for the same as others.”

Excluded UK spokesperson

30 replies on “Lichfield MP called “shameful” over comments on suicides linked to lack of financial support during coronavirus crisis”

  1. Are we surprised by this? He’s been out of touch and out of date for years. He couldn’t be further away from the general public’s views and feelings if he tried. At a time when a little empathy would go a long way he says or does the opposite. This pandemic and its serious social impacts have shown us his true colours. It’s time to go Fab. Your days in Lichfield are numbered. Time for an MP who is more in tune to help us achieve a modern, progressive, aspirational Lichfield.

  2. Typical Michael Fabricant! The self-employed all too often find they have no safety net and are easily ignored by politicians. Desperate people do desperate things: to suggest that financial problems can be dismissed as a factor in someone’s suicide isn’t just shameful, it is frankly hateful.
    And now, on top of the pandemic, we will have the impact of a ‘do or die’ Brexit on individuals and businesses. Where is the financial support for them? All we’ve heard off the government is that jobs are a price worth paying for Brexit. I’ve yet to hear a single Brexit enthusiast say they are willing to pay the price themselves and certainly not our MP.
    I just hope that those who do find themselves paying the price will realise that while we have a government and a local MP who clearly don’t care, there are people and organisations out there who do and who are willing to help. If the government won’t help you, there are others in our community who will.

  3. Nice bit of empathy from the MP towards the hard-working self-employed-but not on payroll, so, he & his govt can’t trust their books so they get nothing. Hmmm.
    Soon, we’ll all be eating eels, mackerel & chips and a large dollop of humble pie so why waste his time on legitimate business concerns and a national issue. Don’t worry about fish, have nice scotch egg instead.
    Pffft…MP is a disgrace.And suicide is a big issue won’t you acknowledge that, Mr Fabricant?
    Goodness me, can’t believe I’m saying this but, stop voting for this nasty and rather putrid clown.

  4. As a person who has had no financial support during this crisis, and being ultimately #ExcludedUK , I can see very much why people might have taken their lives during this. In fact, I nearly did so myself because of being abandoned, and financial ruined by this government. Mr Fabricant, can’t claim it has been debunked without reading the suicide notes, or talking to the families. In the Excluded UK group, the admin every day are talking people down from suicide and are actively supporting a mental health crisis by funding mental health talking therapies and know too well the affects of the exclusion on people, Mr Fabricant needs to stop fabricating lies and propaganda to suit the Conservative narrative, and instead speak to those Excluded, or listen in to the meetings with the metro mayors to see the devastation caused.

  5. “Lucky” for Fabricant, unlike China, we delay the release of suicide figures – so we won’t know the impact of Covid on the suicide rate for a number of months.

    That said, The Samaritans have stated they are currently receiving 33% more calls than usual.

    I dread the figures coming out, Fabricant should too.

  6. He can’t stop telling porkies or failing to care. As for the ‘household budget’ model of the economy, if that’s his level of understanding of monetary policy and economics it’s pathetic, if not it’s deliberate misleading.

  7. This man is a disgraceful human being, I am ashamed to be represented by him in Parliament. time to go Mr Fabricant!

  8. Mr Fabricant has such a large majority in his constituency, I think he feels he can say anything that comes into his head. He considers himself to be socially liberal, but I cannot think of a single thing he’s said lately that shows that.
    He appears to support Mr Trump, a president in America, I think, who is clearly a racist.
    I think it is about time he retired. I know you read this, Mr F, and maybe you should consider your legacy now Brexit is done. Maybe thing about helping to shape the future and promoting Cllr Tom Loughborough as your replacement at the next election.

  9. It is very sad that the people who keep on voting for Fabricant are probably unlikely to see much of this discussion and comment, as many might be classed as ‘the older’ generation. We need some true opposition who cares about the community and can show empathy and understanding.

  10. Best Christmas Present we could get is Mr Fabricant resignation. We deserve a MP that knows when to show empathy and is willing to question the direction given by our government.

  11. And yet the local Conservative party keep on choosing him and the good people of Lichfield keep returning him.

    Wake up Lichfield, time to choose someone younger who has empathy and an understanding of the lives of those in Lichfield- let’s have Doug Pullen as our next candidate!

  12. He earns nearly £85k a year and gets a nice expense account (he’s just bought a £1200 iPhone for “work”). So as I’ve mentioned before, Mr Fabricant has no experience of hardship and should learn to keep his mouth shut unless he’s spoken to someone who’s gone through hard times.

  13. If he is the next candidate, he’ll be returned and he’s knows it. Lichfield is too blue for voters to consider anyone from another party. If it was Sir Keir Starmer himself as our candidate it would make no difference.

  14. Any of the other candidates for our constituency at the last election would have been a vast improvement on Fabricant, they all seemed like decent people, but people still voted Tory. Too many voters form a world view based on the hatred and lies in the right wing press which Fabricant is only too happy to represent.

  15. @Clare Sholl, I’ve noticed changes since the pandemic started.
    The ‘new’ Tory voters, the oven-ready dealers, seem to be moving back towards Labour under Starmer.
    The die-hard tory voters, the base if you like, seem to be moving towards farage and his new party now because they think a deal sells us out and they don’t believe in lockdowns.
    I doubt Lichfield will change much though and so on the basis we’re likely to have a Tory MP for years to come I’d welcome someone like Doug Pullen instead of the current offering.

  16. For clarity – the current figures do not yet show an increase in suicide numbers https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4352 so we do have to be careful in claiming that there has been an increase.

    However, that does not mean that people are not suicidal because of the current situation, it does not mean that we will not see an increase in the numbers, and it does not mean that anybody, especially someone in Mr Fabricant’s position using such careless and indifferent language on something that can tear people’s worlds apart. Shame on him.

  17. The problem here is that laws have been imposed, at short notice, by the government. This is, of course, intended for the good of all but not without consequences. It is fair to argue that if legislation prevents you from working while restricting your civil liberty then the governments should meet the costs. It is generally accepted that, for many, the cure is worse than the disease.
    It has been my experience that many career M.Ps. represent their constituencies in name only. Ours is only one example of the sorry state of British politics.

  18. Michael you and you government claim to want to save lives and the economy ,yet you show no empathy for the plight of the people you claim you represent the truth is you represent the party not constituents a typical tow the line ,Tory .

  19. I think it is a shame that Michael gets such a bad press here. He is doing his best for us after all. No doubt he will be much relieved when he retires at the next election and is no longer the subject of such harsh criticism.

  20. @Ian Beale – let’s hope he does indeed retire (or that the local Conservative Association step up and stop embarrassing themselves and their city and deselect him). We need someone with a bit of decency and competence about them: I agree that Doug Pullen would be a good choice.

  21. Perhaps Ian Beale should take a fresh look at what our millionaire MP has said about people in crisis due to a shortfall in government support and ask himself who exactly is being harsh here.

  22. I think you need to re-read what I have said….I have not supported him. I have simply implied that he is past his ‘best before’ date…if ever he had one. I look forward to a new MP from the next election who is young, vibrant, full of ideas, does not follow the Tory propaganda unthinkingly, is interested in the Lichfield constituency, holds regular surgeries, thinks before tweeting/speaking, respectful and represents the whole area not just his mates. I can but hope that the electorate will be able to rid itself of this disappointing human.

  23. @Ian Beale, I think Ian that your first posting was based on irony. In my experience it does not work on this site. You gave your views far more transparently in your second rendition. Personally I never had any doubts about your opinion of ‘our’? M. P.

  24. Well GFI, I’m afraid that’s how the current parliamentary system works. MPs represent their parties not the electorate, a consequence of a two party system, and their parties appoint people to make sure they do. Our MP used to be one of these enforcers before he stepped down over HS2.

  25. Suicide figures are delayed and so overall impact is, as yet, statistically unquantified. However, I specifically referred in my communication with Michael Fabricant (I’m the constituent to whom he made the appalling response) to known suicides within the ExcludedUK group, as evidenced by the Admins and referenced by Ian Blackford in Parliament following a meeting with group representatives. The Admins of ExcludedUK are volunteers – themselves professionally diverse, ordinary folk who’ve simply found themselves locked out of Government Covid financial support – whom have had to talk people down from the ledge with alarming regularity. Indeed many of us, myself included, have responded – in some cases even calling/liaising with emergency services, and/or going to that member’s home to offer what limited support covid restrictions allow – to desperate posts within the group from members feeling that they simply cannot go on solely as a result of the impact of being excluded. It’s extremely distressing for us all, on top of our own individual financial and mental distress, and makes Fabricant’s summary dismissal of the human costs – ‘debunked’, I ask you – even more contemptible. This gaslighting by Government Ministers and MPs is emotionally and mentally devastating. Rishi Sunak is still denying our validity even after Government bodies using HMRC’s own figures, have confirmed 2.9 million people have been left without support – not ‘not as much support as we’d like’ as HM Government Ministers portray it and as Fabricant himself here suggests – in many cases it’s literally been £0 for 9 months, proposed to last until at least next March, as announced by extensions to CJRS/SEISS. We are only asking for parity with those who’ve recieved SEISS and CJRS, nothing more. Yet, as Fabricant does here, we’re accused of greed and informed we’re unworthy of even of our own taxes. Way to kick us when we’re down.

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