Not sure which thread sparked this...
Copyright 2007 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
All Rights Reserved
The Evening Standard (London)
February 19, 2007 Monday
SECTION: A MERGE; Pg. 14
HEADLINE: Bombshell who never saw action
EXTRA parade-ground press-ups for Tory MP Michael Fabricant. The MP for Lichfield has come under friendly fire from Army squaddies disgruntled at his claims on his website that he once "served" with the Royal Marines in 1998.
On the British Army Rumour Service, or ARRSE website, as it is known, some former soldiers complain in fairly fruity terms that Fabricant only trained with the Marines rather than saw any active service.
They also make several unkind remarks about Fabricant's bouffant blond barnet potentially getting caught in the engines of army helicopters. The Tory politician is easily recognisable in the Commons with his bright blond hair, which sketchwriters and fellow Members of Parliament have frequently suggested is a wig.
Fabricant takes the criticism on the chin. "I did serve with the Royal Marines just after the holocaust of the 1997 election," he tells me.
"I got round the assault course, which they wouldn't allow these days.
Perhaps if it's Army soldiers complaining they're just jealous of the Marines. I also got petrol bombed and trained with soldiers
before they went off to Northern Ireland.
The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme lasted for a year and also included a skiing trip to the Arctic Circle. I can't remember exactly what I put on the website."
You wrote "served" which implies fighting rather than training, Michael.
Fabricant is no stranger to political fiction.
He was political adviser to the BBC series The Final Cut, the last of the House of Cards trilogy.
GRAPHIC: MISSING FROM ACTION: THE TORY MP FOR LICHFIELD, MICHAEL FABRICANT