Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has spoken of his close relationship with “life partner” and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street as he said being a “character” is what makes him electable.
Mr Fabricant, who is known for his eccentricity, revealed the pair share a property in Wales and would spend Christmas together this year.
And he said they could “depend on each other” while living their separate “busy” lives.
Mr Fabricant, who represents Lichfield in Staffordshire, told Gloria De Piero in an interview for GB News that he had met Mr Street, a former boss of retailer John Lewis, 31 years ago at an Oxford University reunion.
The pair have often been described as close friends and when Ms De Piero asked if they were partners, Mr Fabricant said: “We’re life partners.”
He said: “We’ve got a place together in Wales because we both like walking. We go on holidays together, and we’re, you know, we’re very, very close.
“But we lead separate lives. If we lived together all the time, I think we’d murder each other.”
He added: “There’s something special, but I’m not quite sure what it is. One of those indefinable little things.”
Asked how Mr Street would answer the same question, Mr Fabricant joked: “He would cringe with embarrassment. He would take the microphone off and storm off the set.”
Mr Fabricant said people often assumed he was gay, and that the television programme First Dates had wanted to pair him with a man for a charity episode.
However, he said: “I’m bisexual, I suppose, if you’ve got to define these things.”
He added: “All the women I was with, they wanted to get married. They wanted babies. They wanted mortgages. They wanted commitment.”
But he said: “I didn’t want commitment. And then I met an American guy, and then subsequently I met Andy and we both lead, as I said just now, busy lives.
“We’re there for each other. But it does mean I can get on with being, nowadays, an MP, and he can get on with being West Midlands mayor and we’re not constantly worrying about each other and all the rest of it.”
Mr Fabricant recalled how when he became an MP and came to Westminster in 1992, he found “the Conservative Party was very different from the Conservative Party that I knew down in Brighton”.
He said had he not been a Tory MP himself, he might have voted for Tony Blair in 1997, and he said the Conservatives were “all retired colonel types, all very, very pompous and quite sort of misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and every other phobic you can think of” when he first joined the Commons.
“So, I thought at the time that Tony Blair was quite refreshing,” he said. “But by then I was a Conservative MP so I thought I better vote for myself otherwise I might lose.”
But he said he did not feel “inhibited” in the Commons, despite being described as a “character”.
He said: “I think when I first got into the House of Commons, I felt very inhibited. I tried to hold myself back all the time.”
But he said people said to him “Michael, you’ve got great personality, be yourself”.
He said: “And I found it much easier in the parliamentary party from 97 onwards, we were a small band of brothers on the Opposition benches. But actually, it was great fun and people, I think, respected the fact that I was electable.”
He added: “Being a character doesn’t… it’s not something I force. It’s just me.”