Prime Minister David Cameron condemns as “completely unacceptable” Tory MP Michael Fabricant’s tweet that he would punch commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown “in the throat” after watching her on TV.
The Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has said he would punch commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown “in the throat” after watching her debate British values on Channel 4 News.
Mr Fabricant, a former Tory vice-chairman, made the remark in a tweet on Friday morning, after Ms Brown debated British values on the previous evening’s programme with the Spectator journalist Rod Liddle.
Mr Fabricant subsequently apologised for the tweet, which Downing Streeet said he was right to do.
“The prime minister thinks that Mr Fabricant’s comments were completely unacceptable and in poor taste,” a spokeswoman said.
“There is never any excuse for suggesting violence.”
Mr Alibhai-Brown said she was “reeling” from the comments, telling the LBC radio station: “Is this his apoology? Well, he can stuff it. I don’t want to talk to him at all.”
I could never appear on a discussion prog with @y_alibhai I would either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat
— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) June 20, 2014
“I could never appear on a discussion prog with @y_alibhai,” The MP for Lichfield tweeted. “I would either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat.”
Mr Fabricant is known for his flamboyant remarks, having used Twitter as a medium to announce his “sacking” as vice-chairman last April.
In an article for the Telegraph in 2013 he previously wrote: “If the 15-year-old Michael Fabricant had had Twitter, I think it would be safe to say he would have struggled to find a job.”
The Conservative MP for Lichfield received an angry barrage of tweets just minutes after the post, with Gloria De Piero, the shadow minister for women and equalities, calling it as “a disgusting thing to say” and calling for him to apologise.
He later did so in a series of tweets. “If anyone believes I would seriously threaten someone with violence, I of course withdraw and apologise.”
He also directed a partial apology to Alibhai-Brown.”.Sorry @y_alibhai if you actually thought I would punch you. I actually don’t do that sort of thing. But you are utterly infuriating! xx”
The fiery discussion between Ms Alibhai-Brown and Mr Liddle saw the pair debate issues including race, religion and British values, after which Ms Brown told the Spectator columnist: “I have no words for how much I loathe you.”
The Conservatives are yet to comment on the tweet.