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Michael Fabricant may look like a Boris Johnson waxwork that has been dragged through a hedge backwards, but Lichfield’s MP has been one of the Prime Minister’s most loyal supporters during the Partygate scandal.

The Tory veteran was one of the first to take to the airwaves after the PM received a fixed-penalty notice for breaking his own lockdown rules and to defend him. But the mouthy Fabricant couldn’t stop there, adding that the PM and his groupies at Number 10 were not the only ones breaking the rules but that nurses and teachers boozed away in staff rooms after busy shifts during the pandemic.

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As you can imagine, Fabricant’s comments have gone down like a cup of cold sick among nursing and teaching communities.

The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive Pat Cullen has written a letter to Fabricant and Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden, saying: “It is utterly demoralising – and factually incorrect – to hear you suggest that our diligent, safety critical profession, can reasonably be compared to any elected official breaking the law,” she said.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, has also complained to the government – this time to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi – about Fabricant’s ignorance. He said schools followed government guidance “meticulously” and “supported the most vulnerable, ensured that children were fed and effectively reinvented how education was delivered in a matter of weeks”.

Fabricant says his reflection was based on meeting a teacher and a pair of nurses who told them they had sympathy with Johnson. 

But after a snap YouGov poll found that 57 per cent of voters thought Johnson should resign, while 75 per cent said he had knowingly lied, you do have to wonder the lengths some MPs will go to stay in their leader’s good books.