Conservative councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood have been criticised over their “deafening silence” in the wake of their MP’s claims nurses and teachers broke lockdown rules by drinking in staff rooms during the pandemic.
Michael Fabricant had claimed that “many” staff had broken the law in the same way the Prime Minister had, before later clarify that one teacher and two nurses had contacted him to say they had.
But his comments have drawn anger from unions and Sir Keir Starmer, who branded his words “a grotesque spectacle”.
Cllr Rob Birch, Labour representative on both Burntwood Town Council and Lichfield District Council, said Conservative councillors were showing support by staying silent on the matter.
“The councillors and party association locally 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.
“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.”Cllr Rob Birch
Mr Fabricant had been seeking to defend Boris Johnson after he was issued a 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
But Cllr Birch said respect for a sense of common decency should come before any sense of party loyalty from local Conservatives.
“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.
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?”Cllr Rob Birch