Michael Fabricant smiles during Keir Starmer's emotional Commons address
Parliament TV

Michael Fabricant is facing fresh criticism on social media after appearing to make a joke about the Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape.

It was reported yesterday that a Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault offences between 2002 and 2009.

Scotland Yard said the unnamed man in his 50s – also detained on suspicion of indecent assault, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office – was taken into custody on Tuesday.

Fabricant, who is the Member of Parliament for Lichfield, wrote in a Tweet: “I am expecting a strong turnout of Conservative MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions today.

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“Not only demonstrating 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 said, before adding a winking emoji.

After being criticised online for his comments, Fabricant later posted a message about the ‘professional offence takers’ taking issue with them.

“No-one is making light of rape or assault. Far from it,” he wrote.

“But those who want to read something into a comment will contrive to do so whatever. They are professional offence takers."

Labour MP Chris Bryant was one of the people who hit out at Fabricant for his comments, writing: “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.”

Twitter user James Felton added: “A hilarious joke about an MP accused of rape and sexual misconduct over the course of 7 years.”

In an updated statement on Wednesday, Scotland Yard said he has “been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-June”, adding: “An investigation is ongoing.”

The chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris has urged the MP to stay away from parliament.

They’re the latest comments from Fabricant after he criticised Angela Rayner for not smiling in the Commons, following the ludicrous suggestion that the deputy Labour leader was crossing and uncrossing her legs during Prime Minister’s Questions in a ‘Basic Instinct ploy’ to distract Boris Johnson.

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