Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has responded to claims that his appearances are “harming society” and helping to fuel the fear of clowns.
Tony Eldridge, secretary of Clowns International which represents the performers in the UK has said:
'The Lichfield Clown is doing clowning no favours and is spoiling the reputation of professional clowns.'
The Lichfield Clown has regularly appeared in the City since his election in April 1992 and has more than 13,800 followers on Twitter. Often considered to be a copycat clown in the tradition of fellow Conservative buffoon, Boris Johnson, Mr Fabricant has made appearances on ‘Have I Got News for You’ and at Prime Minister's Question Time sporting a false moustache and comedy wig.
Mr Eldridge said:
'He might see it as a bit of a laugh, but for his constituents it can be a horrible experience. This has nothing to do with clowning, it’s just a small group of politicians with stupid views and it spoils the fun for everybody else.
'Most professional clowns follow the clown code of conduct which includes not wearing their costume in public. Yet Mr Fabricant can regularly be seen in garishly coloured outfits in Lichfield and behaving like a fool.'
But, in an exclusive interview with Five Spires Live the publicity shy 75-year old MP said:
'I'm sorry if my appearances have affected the work of professional clowns. All I do is appear in recognisable places around Lichfield and a lot of people still love it.
'I wave at people who spot me and they wave back and ask for a photo. I can’t help it if some one who sees me is afraid of clowns.'
Although Mr Fabricant concedes:
'I did have to apologise when I once posted a photo on Twitter with a guy standing behind me with his cock out.'