The MP for Lichfield and Burntwood has been urged to make an “immediate and unreserved apology” after he shared a post on social media regarding arrests at a vigil over the weekend.
A number of women taking part in the gathering – organised in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death – were arrested by police.
The actions of officers has sparked controversy, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he was “deeply concerned” by footage of the arrests.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant posted on his Twitter account over the weekend to ask “The police have a tough job at the best of time – was this a vigil or something else?”.
He then retweeted a post suggesting it was “a group of angry morons who were dealt with accordingly”.
His actions have drawn criticism from Cllr Dave Robertson, Labour representative for Curborough ward on Lichfield District Council, who said the MP should apologise immediately.
“I have always had the utmost respect for our hardworking police officers who so often go above and beyond to keep us safe.
“However, the footage from Clapham this weekend shows a police force which got it wrong.
“This week has seen women across the country sharing their experiences of sexual harassment in public spaces and the constant vigilance that they must maintain.
“As a man it has been hard to read many of these stories and to understand the lengths that women must go to feel safe. It has also been clear that men must have a responsibility to speak out and challenge the status quo to make the streets safe for everyone.
“In retweeting this message Mr Fabricant and failed in this responsibility to the women in our communities.
“Mr Fabricant should issue an immediate and unreserved apology for this total lapse in judgement and should urgently seek to educate himself on the issues of sexual harassment and violence towards women so that he can effectively represent all of his constituents.”Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council
Mr Fabricant told Lichfield Live that the behaviour of some members of the gathering were “a disgrace” and not part of a peaceful vigil.
“Although the majority of people present were there for the vigil, there was a vocal and offensive group of women waving placards and flags, spitting at police officers, and chanting ‘f**k the police’.
“This was all clearly visible on social media to anyone who chose to do any research .
“They were not there for any vigil, nor were they showing respect for the memory of Sarah Everard, and neither were they obeying any social distancing rules so endangering others by the possible spread of Covid-19.
“Their behaviour was a disgrace and put the police who were present into an impossible position.
“A thorough enquiry will be held into the actions of the police officers, but I do not subscribe to kneejerk, headline-atching reactions such as that of the Leader of the Liberal Democrats who – without any detailed knowledge of events and on the same evening – immediately called for the resignation of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
“Police officers have a tough enough time of it anyway without having ‘woke’ politicians criticising them without being fully informed of events.”Michael Fabricant MP