‘A new low’: Michael Fabricant under fire for defending Chris Pincher

‘Conservative MPs feel “very sorry” for Chris Pincher and believe he is a “victim in his own way,’ says the MP for Lichfield.

Michael Fabricant

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Michael Fabricant said: “On the one hand, of course, we’re all very sorry for people who’ve been affected by Chris’s actions, but we also quite frankly feel very sorry for Chris in many ways.

“This is being driven most of the time, it seems by drink, and I know now that he’s actually sought and is already in contact with the clinical psychiatrists regarding treatment.”

Replying to suggestions that drink was an excuse for the MP’s behaviour, Fabricant said: “Of course not, but it’s an explanation. And, you know, that’s why many of us do feel that Chris, sadly, you know, is also in his own way, a victim.”

Seemingly digging an even deeper hole for himself, the Lichfield MP attempted to unpick the word ‘victim’. He said to him the word victim “always seems very extreme word to use” in cases such as Mr Pincher’s, and later said he was “using [the word] ‘victims’ in inverted commas” with regards to the MP’s accusers.

Fabricant proceeded to further defend Pincher, who resigned last week over allegations he groped two men, claiming that some of Pincher’s accusers had retracted their statements. The Tory MP did not however offer any examples.

According to Fabricant, Pincher’s actions are down to “the nature of the long hours” of being an MP, which he said made it hard to have a family life.

“I’m saying that nothing is black and white in this world if only it was that simple. It isn’t that simple,” he said.

“It does make me wonder precisely, you know, who is the guilty party who is the innocent party and whether it is wholly that Chris Pincher is someone you know, who is in that position.”

Fabricant’s comments come as allegations by Simon McDonald raise further concerns about what Boris Johnson knew about Chris Pincher prior to appointing his a deputy chief whip in February.

In a blistering letter to the parliamentary standards, McDonald, the former permanent secretary at the foreign office, accused the PM of lying about whether he knew about earlier complaints of sexual misconduct made against Pincher.

The allegations made against Boris Johnson and No 10 about the Pincher scandal, did not stop Michael Fabricant from defending Pincher and suggesting he might be the victim.

‘A new low’

The Lichfield MPs remarks were immediately leapt upon, with many listeners not quite believing what they were hearing.

Many took to Twitter to share their disgust at the comments.

“Listening to Michael Fabricant trying to portray Christopher Pincher as a victim on @bbc5live this morning is a new low,” someone wrote.

Another tweeted: “So Michael Fabricant thinks that Chris Pincher “is in his own way a victim.” No he bloody well isn’t.”

Others, in response to the comments, asked to “be given strength”, and another said that the remarks were an “insult to victims.”

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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