A primary school teacher has urged Lichfield’s MP to stand down after making “offensive” claims education workers were drinking together in staff rooms during lockdown.

Michael Fabricant
Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant has drawn widespread criticism after attempting to defend Boris Johnson’s fine for attending a Downing Street party.

“I think at the time just like many teachers and nurses who after a very long shift would tend to go back to the staff room and have a quiet drink which is more or less what he has done.”

Michael Fabricant MP

The Conservative MP has since sought to clarify his comments, suggesting that he had been told by “a teacher and two nurses” that they too had enjoyed a lockdown drink with workmates.

But local teacher Laura Ellis told Lichfield Live the MP had crossed a line by using key workers to create a “political smokescreen”.

“As a primary school teacher of over 15 years, I’m absolutely disgusted by Mr Fabricant’s ludicrous, unfounded and offensive comments about nurses and teachers partying after work during lockdown. In fact, the opposite is true.

“I can assure him from personal experience that school staff rooms were out of bounds and we had no choice but to eat our lunch in our classrooms alone. To suggest otherwise is nothing short of absurd.

“To even think that a teaching professional would be permitted to bring alcohol onto school grounds let alone consume it there, just goes to show that he doesn’t have a clue about any educational code of practice. 

“Anyone with half a brain cell knows that he only made his slur against teaching and healthcare professionals to create a political smokescreen.

“He has insulted myself and all of my teaching colleagues in both a personal and professional capacity. It beggars belief that anyone in the public domain would say such a thing, let alone an MP who is supposed to be appreciative of and respectful to all people who worked relentlessly in incredibly challenging circumstances throughout the pandemic.” 

Laura Ellis

Mr Fabricant has not apologised for his comments, but has said he understood why some people were upset with the actions of Boris Johnson.

But he insisted the Prime Minister had thought he was acting within Covid guidelines.

“I genuinely believe that Boris Johnson thought at the time he was not breaking the law as he was operating in a work bubble defined by law.

“This was not a case of ‘do as I say, while I will do what I like’.

“On the occasion he had drinks at the end of a tough day, he believed it was within the work bubble so there was no risk of Covid transmission – these were the same people he had been working with closely all day.

“He takes the matter incredibly seriously, has apologised, and accepted responsibility for the things he didn’t get right and the way this matter has been handled.  And so he should.

“Nevertheless, the police believe that this was against the rules and the Prime Minister will not be contesting the Fixed Penalty Notice.”

Michael Fabricant MP.

But Laura said failing to apologise for his comments about teaching and health staff meant the MP should stand down.

“He has gone from a local embarrassment to a national disgrace, dragging the whole of Lichfield into a ridiculous scandal of a political circus with his malicious rumours while simultaneously making the city a nationwide laughing stock. 

“It worries me to say the least that a man who can stand by these outrageous remarks despite nationwide pressure to withdraw them represents me in Parliament.

“For once, Mr Fabricant, please do the right thing and leave now.”

Laura Ellis

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23 Comments

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  1. Can we all just take a moment to applaud Laura for articulating what the overwhelming majority of Lichfield residents are feeling?! WELL DONE LAURA!!

    I would also like to add that, I too feel a genuine sense of embarrassment by the actions and words of Mr Fabricant. This is by no means a political swipe, but genuine outrage at the things that Mr Fabricant has said and done in the name of Lichfield residents. He does represent me, or anyone I know, it seems. The anger among residents is raw, and growing.

    He needs to step aside, and the sooner the Conservative Association (who didn’t even bother to respond to my email of complaint) take action – the better.

    I would also encourage other people to make their own feelings known, too.

    https://www.lichfieldconservatives.org.uk/contact

    Sally

  2. Well done and said, Laura Ellis.

    Fabricant is a shameful stain on our area, and has created a legacy of embarrassment, prejudice and small-mindedness.

    Get done and gone, Fabricant.

  3. I am “ashamed” of our current MP lack of apology for his silly comments Hopefully he will soon be our ex MP. Laura is 100% correct – Our MP is 100% wrong

  4. I do not live in Lichfield but I have worked in healthcare all my life, and in theatres all over the uk for over 35 years and have never, never seen alcohol being consumed by staff on hospital premises by anyone, the man is a disgrace and the tory party should be ashamed of him.

  5. Well done Laura for standing up for teachers. By the way, in his latest defence, Mr Fabricant appears not to be satisfied with besmirching teachers and nurses and is also adding police officers to his list of slights: “Nevertheless, the police believe that this was against the rules.” It’s not only the police that believe this Mr Fabricant, it’s just about everybody, nor do they believe Boris didn’t know what he was doing at the time. I’m sure the judge would agree if Boris dared contest the fine.

  6. “Nevertheless, the police believe that this was against the rules.”

    Pretty sure the police would have said it was against the law.

    Note the difference.

  7. I have just listened to the Leader of the Opposition’s coruscating remarks about our MP and his slavish defence of Johnson, and the name of Lichfield is yet again dragged through the mud.

    For heavens sake, Mr Fabricant, do the decent thing, and offer your resignation. You are not fit to represent our City and it’s citizens.

  8. Well said Laura, as a retired teacher I know it is a disciplinary offence to take alcohol on to most school sites. Teachers were worried about taking COVID home to their families and did not gather with colleagues.
    Micheal Fabricant has insulted teachers and nurses in his fawning attempts to defend Boris Johnson’s breaking of his own rules.

  9. If the people of the Lichfield constituency feel that Mr Fabricant is unsuitable to be our MP the simple answer is not to vote for him.
    But a eehaw wearing a blue rosette stood I’m sure the gender neutral donkey would be elected.

  10. How can boris not know he is breaking the rules that he sets out? And for Mr fabricant to cover up for him by his false accusations is unfair and completely out of order

  11. It’s one thing embarrassing and shaming yourself – but you’re doing it in our name and embarrassing us and shaming this city – we deserve better.

    Resign

  12. And yet the Conservative Councillors and Party Association remain publicly silent.

    I assume that if they are speaking out they are being ignored. Seems unlikely though when there are so many normally outspoken Tories who suddenly cannot find their voice.

    I for one take this deafening silence as being complicit in the comments and supportive of his views.

    I guarantee that if a Labour colleague behaved like that I and others in our group would publicly object and distance ourselves from such abhorrent behaviour and comments.

    To stand by in silence, whilst all this is said and continues to be added to by further utterences as time goes on, is to say you agree, or at least have no objection or concern with the comments he makes.

    As the saying goes “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Are there any good amongst them, or will they continue to support their repeatedly offensive and increasingly extremist MP?

  13. What a bunch of self righteous people, yes he should resign for being a clown, but not for telling the truth. Go on lets be honest who stuck to the rules to the letter?
    Mention nurses or teachers the untouchables thats the mistake

  14. I wrote to Mr Fabricant basically stating the same as Laura. I haven’t had a response or an apology… I ate lunch in my car, no interaction with colleagues and had covid whilst being unable to visit my mother who was dying of cancer…. There is NO excuse for breaking their own laws.

  15. It seems clear that Fabricant is on his way out and won’t be standing again. That’s why he’s free to spout offensive drivel and divert flack from Boris. Boris’s offence was not just to attend parties during lockdown but to repeatedly lie to Parliament and the people about what he had done. Then he blamed his staff and allowed others to take the fall (e.g. Allegra Stratton), and now he’s putting on a show of contrition after being fined, but still won’t admit he knew he was breaking the rules and that he lied about it. The only honourable thing to do would be to resign, like others have done for far less. We’ll have a shiny new Tory candidate for Lichfield at the next election, but if they’re not speaking up against Boris now, it will be too late by then.

  16. Another mop “ haired” muppet with absolutely no idea of how “ the peasantry “ live . To actually defend the outrageous lies and actions of his fellow out of touch “ mop head” is just validation of how out of touch the whole collection of them is. Do the decent thing , resign and try working for a living.

  17. At last, a true hero of the Lichfield emerges. Thank goodness for people like Laura who call out such pantomime like shenanigans of our sitting MP. If only Laura would nominate herself in the next local election…she would 100% get my vote!!! Go Laura!!!!

  18. He’s only speaking the truth.
    There were parties going on round me. They were teachers, and office
    Staff. And teenage get togethers.
    For many what shutdown.

  19. It was a shocking attack on the people who kept this country safe and our children educated at great risk to themselves and there own families. He is not fit to be a MP. It’s shameful and he should be sacked let alone resign.

  20. The whole lot is tired with their only vision of keeping in office, Do the decent thing, Mr. Fabricant, & get out with the rest of them – as a long server you’ll get your gong eventually

  21. The NHS staff that I met didn’t always obey the rules during the Covid19 outbreaks that I can agree with Mr Fabricant however I will be forever grateful they didn’t.
    The staff untook a risk assessment and allowed me to be there when they switched off my wife’s life support machine.(Technically against the rules at the time)I was lucky and wish more people had the same opportunity to say goodbye even if it was less than nine minutes.
    People ask why do they keep going on about parties in Downing street? We need to understand the reasoning behind decisions that led to the deaths 180k people. We need to believe the honesty and integrity of the people making these decisions. If they cannot stand up and be trusted over minor infringements then what are we to believe when it comes the major decisions?
    Mr Fabricant doesn’t realise that every time he makes a horrendous, hideous statement that he opens up old wounds and the healing process has to restart.
    You can defend your leader without attacking essential workers. I would like to thank Mr Robinson and Laura Ellis for articulating the majority of Lichfield residents views.
    It’s time for our MP to retire to concentrate on his other interests.

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