Tory MP's attempt to slam 'blackmail' allegations spectacularly backfires

Michael Fabricant

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Tory MP Michael Fabricant attempted to dismiss the claims that MPs have allegedly been “blackmailed” - but it backfired spectacularly.

Fabricant, a former whip himself, branded MP William Wragg’s blackmail accusations as “nonsense”.

He tweeted: “If I reported every time I had been threatened by a Whip or if a Whip reported every time I had threatened them, the police wouldn’t have any time to conduct any other police work! What nonsense from WW.”

But people were quick to point out that his defence perhaps reveals something about the culture within the Conservative party...












Speaking to talkRADIO’s Mike Graham yesterday, Fabricant said he doesn’t believe the blackmail claims.

He said: “The whips, whether it’s Labour whips or Conservative whips, were set up to have some discipline and we’re all used to it. It’s not bully boy tactics, it’s just the way to keep a party together to some extent.”

The blackmail scandal revolves around the allegations that MPs who spoke out against Johnson were threatened with the release of embarrassing stories to the press and the withdrawal of funding.

But the prime minister insisted he had “seen no evidence” to support the “blackmail” claim made by senior Conservative William Wragg amid anger over allegations of rule-breaking parties in No 10.

He said he would “of course” look for evidence to support the allegations, but No 10 suggested there were no plans to launch an investigation as demanded by Labour.

Wragg is one of a handful of Tory backbenchers to have said publicly they have submitted a letter to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, calling for a no-confidence vote in Mr Johnson’s leadership.

Christian Wakeford, the MP who defected from the Tories to Labour in protest at Johnson’s leadership and the row over Downing Street parties, said he was threatened about the loss of a school in his constituency if he did not toe the line.

Fabricant isn’t the only one to speak out against Wragg’s claims.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told BBC News: “That is nonsense because that is not how government works.

“It is just attention-seeking behaviour from William Wragg who has been a constant critic of the prime minister, who delivered us the greatest majority since Margaret Thatcher.”

It emerged this morning that the blackmail claims could be backed up by a “secret recording and texts”.

Watch this space…

Oh, and psssssst.

If you’ve ever wondered what a party whip actually does, Fabricant provided an answer to that several years ago in a light-hearted educational YouTube video that saw him spank someone across a desk.

Enjoy.

The Whips. Who they are and what they do.www.youtube.com

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