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Lichfield MP blames 'cancel culture' after he is blocked from primary school talk

A Tory MP has hit out at "selfish and petty" parents after he was blocked from giving a talk at a local primary school.

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Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said the decision sets a 'nasty precedent'

Michael Fabricant was due to address youngsters about democracy at Scotch Orchard Primary School in Lichfield but his appearance was cancelled at short notice.

The Lichfield MP – who describes himself as holding "liberal views on most matters" – said the visit had been called off following the intervention of "politically motivated" parents.

It is understood at least one parent raised concerns over Mr Fabricant's "apparent comments on Islam and disability".

The MP said "cancel culture" had arrived in Lichfield and accused parents of pressuring the headteacher into cancelling the visit.

He said: "I have never made any critical comments on Islam or any other religion – only on individual cases when individuals are committing crimes or using Islam as an excuse – I would do the same if they were Christian, Jewish, or of no religion.

"I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about regarding any comments on disability. Citing political tropes does not make something true.

"For parents to put pressure on a school simply because of their own political prejudice and ignorance is selfish and sets a poor precedent.

"No school should be put under such duress. Cancel culture is rule of the mob."

Mr Fabricant added: "The children are disappointed. And so am I. They wanted to meet a member of our national Parliament.

"I never discuss party politics on school visits, but instead have lively discussions on how Parliament works and on issues that interest the students.

"Given my liberal views on most matters, I find the whole thing both selfish and petty and am sorry the children are disappointed.

"They are probably as bewildered as I am on this decision. I feel sorry for the headteacher too."

A spokesperson for the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, which runs the school, said: "Scotch Orchard Primary School has postponed Mr Fabricant’s visit until September, and in the meantime will be opening a dialogue with the school community to discuss the issues raised by some parents, and also to explore the possibility of inviting a wider variety of local figures to provide a balance of representatives for the children.

"It is important that children get to meet local figures such as their MP, to learn about how society works in a fun and engaging way, and we look forward to welcoming Mr Fabricant, along with other local figures, in the future."

Mr Fabricant was the subject of a complaint by the Muslim Council of Britain in November 2020 after suggesting in a now-deleted tweet that criticism of the Conservative Party for allegations of Islamophobia would harm "Anglo-Muslim relations". At the time he said the tweet had been "misrepresented" and the complaint was not upheld.