Tory MP dismisses party blackmail claims - by confirming culture of intimidation and threats 3 months ago

Tory MP dismisses party blackmail claims - by confirming culture of intimidation and threats

Michael Fabricant confirms 'culture of threats' in Westminster

A Tory MP has confirmed reports of threatening behaviour in parliament in an attempt to seemingly downplay claims that MPs are being "blackmailed" into not challenging the prime minister.

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Michael Fabricant, a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson's leadership, spoke out on Thursday in response to a statement made by senior Tory William Wragg.

Wragg accused the government of attempting to "blackmail" members of parliament out of submitting letters of no-confidence in Johnson and claimed they were being threatened with having funding for their constituencies withdrawn. He urged anyone who had felt intimidated to contact police.

Fabricant, the MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire, 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!"

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Twitter users were quick to point out Fabricant had in fact validated concerns raised by Wragg, by confirming government whips were regularly relying on "threats" to push through legislation.

The Scotsman's Westminster correspondent said: "Tory MP confirms culture of intimidation and threats in Government."

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Author James Felton joked: "In his defence, my client does this sort of crime all the time."

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Downing Street on Thursday denied any knowledge of the use of "threats" by government whips.

A spokesperson for No 10 said: “We are not aware of any evidence to support what are clearly serious allegations. If there is any evidence to support these claims we would look at it very carefully.”

Labour have called for an investigation into the allegations made by Wragg.

In a statement, Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: "The idea that areas of our country will be starved of funding because their MPs don't fall into line to prop up this failing Prime Minister is disgusting."

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