A veteran Tory MP has been accused of showing “callous disregard” for victims of rape, after appearing to joke about the arrest of his colleague for it.
Conservative MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant caused uproar this morning over a message about the shock arrest yesterday of a Tory colleague on suspicion of rape.
The party had told the MP in question, who has not been named, to stay away from Westminster.
Tweeting on Wednesday morning, Fabricant said: “I am expecting a strong turnout of Conservative MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions today. Not only to demonstrate their strong support for Boris, BUT also to prove they are NOT the one told by the Chief Whip to stay at home. I’ll be there!”. He also included an emoji, leading to an avalanche criticism.
MP Chris Bryant responded: “Seriously Michael take this down now. It shows callous disregard for the alleged victims, and it implies rape and sexual assault are a laughing matter. Take it down.”
Labour’s shadow minister for women and equalities, Charlotte Nichols, said: “One of the grimmest things about working in Westminster is not just the regularity with which allegations of rape and sexual assault come up, but the fact people like Fabricant here trivialise these as a laughing matter or quirky bit of gossip complete with an emoji.”
The Conservatives have been approached for comment.