Tory MP Michael Fabricant, perhaps best known for having an even more spectacular shock of blond hair than former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is making waves on social media after posting a video to YouTube that shows him riding a Santander Cycle hire bike – one of the former Mayor of London’s legacies * – while totally naked.
Luckily, there’s no glimpse of the Honourable Member of Parliament for Lichfield’s, erm, member, thanks to a strategically-placed black box (stop sniggering at the back) added post-production on his ride. We think the location is in London, but we’re ruling out Bushy Park for now.
The video is aimed at promoting an annual naked bike ride, similar to The World Naked Bike Ride held annually in 20 or so cities in the UK annually and hundreds of others around the world, but this one having the aim of raising funds for St Giles Hospice in Fabricant’s constituency in Staffordshire.
The 68-year-old believes such a ride would be a “good way” to raise money for the hospice, adding that it would “uncover all sorts of parts that I have never seen before.”
But while the World Naked Bike Ride aims to highlight the fragility of the human body and the harm that dependency on fossil fuel does to the environment, according to the website They Vote For You, the MP has a parliamentary track record of opposing measures aimed at fighting climate change.
He later retweeted a post to the video made by the hospice’s chief executive, who said: “People do all sorts of things to raise money for St Giles Hospice and we are incredibly grateful for Michael’s involvement. His plan for a naked cycle ride is definitely one of the more unusual events....”
Fabricant is no stranger to hitting the headlines through his posts to social media, most notably in July when he retweeted and swiftly deleted, after accusations of racism and Islamophobia, a cartoon of Labour former MP and now Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in July, and which led to calls for the Tory whip to be removed from him.
*The idea of a London-wide cycle hire scheme was originally raised by Liberal Democrat Assembly Members and the process to introduce it approved by Labour former mayor Ken Livingstone, but it was during Johnson’s administration that it went live … hence, ‘Boris Bikes’.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.