Guido presents the highlights from Michael Fabricant’s First Dates debut. The loveable Fabbers did not find true love, however, he did charm the nation. There are plenty more fish in the sea, Michael…
— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 13, 2017
Theresa May promoted Michael Fabricant’s forthcoming appearance on the Channel 4 series Celebrity First Dates at PMQs. A programme known for finding romance for blonde bombshells…
Nissan are on the record saying they won’t leave Britain post-Brexit and have been at pains not to scaremonger about the referendum. So they were a bit put out by Anna Soubry using their reception in parliament last night to preach doom on their behalf. The event had nothing to do with Europe, but Soubs misjudged the tone and told guests how leaving the EU will cause a “disaster for manufacturing” and result in “an immediate 10% tariff on Nissan cars”. Her speech was heckled by a number of Tory MPs including Michael Fabricant, who shouted “complete rubbish!”. Soubry curtly replied “we know you don’t agree but everyone else here does”, to which another two Tory MPs shouted “we don’t!”. Guests say the Nissan representatives present were not impressed with their event being hijacked by an overtly politicised speech. A simple gag about SamCam’s Micra would have been much more appropriate…
George Osborne’s report on Brexit wants us to believe the Treasury can predict the future as far away as 2030, yet they can’t even tell us how much the report cost to produce. In a written question to the Chancellor Michael Fabricant asked for cost of producing the report and how many man-hours it took in total. David Gauke replied:
“The Treasury is appropriately resourced to support the Government’s priorities in Europe. However, it is not practical to identify full-time equivalent staff numbers.”
They can provide a cost analysis for 14 years in the future, but not something that happened in the last few weeks!
Michael Fabricant on George Osborne:
“Georgehas allies in the House of Commons. David has friends. And it’s friends you need when there’s trouble.”
Good old Fabbers has cut down the fawning pro-EU gibberish from Jonathan Djanogly in his own inimitable style:
Look out for his classic reaction. Straight talking, honest politics!
UPDATE: Fabricant apologised to the Speaker afterwards:
Michael Fabricant was reaching for the sick bucket during today’s EU debate:
Who were the two vomit-inducing Europhiles in question?
Guido has established that the gruesome twosome are Nick Herbert and Damian Green…
Matt Hancock looked a little lost for words in response to Michael Fabricant’s praise for Waitrose chief Mark Price in the Commons:
Michael Fabricant : I did not have to use the Freedom of Information Act because I went on to the gov.uk website to find out that the excellent Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, is now a non-executive director of the board of the Cabinet Office. May I say what a wise choice that is? What is my right hon. Friend doing to ensure that similar people are appointed to other Government Departments?
Matthew Hancock: Er, um, crikey! Where to start? Mark Price is, indeed, an incredibly impressive businessman and I look forward to working with him on the Cabinet Office board.
Good of Fabbers to help out his best friend and soulmate’s boss!
Just in time for the Budget, former Tory whip Michael Fabricant has slammed the Tory election strategy, speaking out against the “dry economics lecture” currently on offer:
“The Long Term Economic Plan is a means to an end and so is lowering the deficit.
YouTube videos displaying a reduction in deficit are appropriate for a dry economics lecture, but they are hardly going to win the hearts and souls of the electorate.
We’ve got to say why we want a strong economy, what are those sun lit uplands?
We’ve not just got to win the battle of the minds but the battle of the heart.”
Whatever happened to David “let sunshine win the day” Cameron, who promised the Conservatives would be the “party of optimism”?
Last week Michael Fabricant wrote to the Speaker to give him the opportunity to shut down speculation he is considering breaking his promise to the House and remaining in his post beyond 2018. Bercow’s coy response will spark further rumours:
In view of your touching interest in my career, I should simply encourage you to look back at what I have said in the past and to compare it – in due course – with what I do in the future.
Such transparency and accountability from our modernising, reforming Speaker…
Last week John Bercow stoked speculation about his future by refusing to confirm if he would keep his promise to stand down as Speaker in 2018. Michael Fabricant, whom Bercow cut off in the House, has today written to the Speaker to ask if there is any truth to the rumours that it is his intention to break that promise and serve for the whole of the next Parliament:
“I invite you once more to respond to the question: If you are invited to take the Chair after the next election, do you still plan to adhere to the commitment you made before being elected Speaker and stand down from the Chair on or before 22nd June 2018?”
Fabbers tells Guido: “His commitment to the House was clear less than six years ago when he was elected and he made it a plank on which he was elected. It may be that, contrary to leaks emanating from Speaker’s House, he has no intention of breaking his promise”. Well, Mr Speaker?
Warning bells would have gone off early in the Speaker’s head when he heard Michael Fabricant use the date of his accession to his Speaker’s throne. The bells would have become clamorous at the first “but”, and turned into sirens at the words “no longer than nine years”.
“Point of Order, Mr Speaker. You may recall back on 22 June 2009 you were speaking before Parliament and you were talking about Speaker Onslow who was in office for more than 30 years but you said that if you were elected to Parliament, you have given your commitment, Mr Speaker, to serve no longer than nine years in total. And I just wondered – ”
“As has just been pointed out to me by the Acting Clerk whom I know the honourable gentleman rightly respects, this is not a point of order. I’ve nothing to add and we’ll leave it there . . . .”
Not a point of order, so sit down?
Members get up on points of order to have a chat with the Speaker, to wish him happy birthday, to praise him for his wise and intelligent chairing. He can listen to that indefinitely. Here comes a chance to confirm on the record that he will serve for no longer than nine years – as promised – and he cuts the questioner off.
This is starting to firm up whispers Guido hears that Bercow has no plans to stand down after nine years, and that his intention is to serve the whole of the next Parliament.
Fabricant tweeted: “I thought it was rather cowardly the way the Speaker blamed the Acting Clerk for cutting me off.”
Did the Clerk spontaneously advise the Speaker this wasn’t a point of order?
Or was he prompted to do so by the Speaker?
Or did he in fact offer the advice at all?
Guido has a call in to Acting Clerk David Natzler to seek the answer to these interesting questions…