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’.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.