Michael Fabricant asked questions to the Prime Minister and, earlier, to the Equalities Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, today.
“I thought I would be a little self-deprecating in my question to the Prime Minister” says Michael. “But I also wanted to raise levelling up as it affects the West Midlands and Lichfield District.”
I asked: “Mr Speaker, you will know that I fought long and hard to bring back Boris. In 1997, I campaigned for Kenneth Clarke, and then for Michael Portillo. So I can’t always get it right!
“But, I do know about the West Midlands. I know that the West Midlands Mayor very much welcomes the reappointment of the Levelling Up Secretary (Michael Gove), and that he looks forward to working with our new Prime Minister. So may I just ask him: what is his vision for levelling up?
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied: “What I can say is that our desire is to ensure that people, wherever they live in our fantastic country, have enormous pride in the place they call home, and every opportunity to succeed. It is the fantastic mayor Andy Street who is delivering that for the West Midlands.”
A little earlier, Michael asked the Equalities Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, about the persecution of gay servicemen in the British Armed Forces prior to 2000. “I am very aware of some very able servicemen who were hounded out simply because it was found out that they were gay” Michael says.
In the House of Commons, Michael asked: “Back in the 1990s, a colonel in the Royal Marines said to me he would rather have a gay marine alongside him who can shoot straight, than a straight marine who can’t.
“My Rt Hon Friend will know that there was much persecution of gay people in the armed forces before 2000. Can she update us on how the LGBT Independent Veterans Review is progressing?”
Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch answered: “I can tell him that under Lord Etherton as chair, this important independent review has launched a call for evidence on the experiences of all LGBT veterans who served between 1967 and 2000, when LGBT people were barred from openly serving in the armed forces.”