Labour MP apologises after accusing UK vaccine minister of getting jab

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan’s false allegation was made on Twitter but deleted within hours

H90CN3 London, UK. 10th January, 2017. Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, leaves 10 Downing Street during a Cabinet meeting. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News

A Labour politician has apologised to the minister overseeing Britain’s vaccination campaign after falsely claiming he and his family had been inoculated against the coronavirus.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said on Twitter she had heard “rumours” that Iraq-born Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi had received the jab in south London.

Dr Allin-Khan accused Mr Zahawi of jumping the queue before more vulnerable patients and demanded a response from his office. “Nadhim, can you please tell us if it is true?” she wrote on Saturday. “I really hope it is not unless you meet the necessary criteria.”

But her tweets were removed within two hours of being published and replaced with an apology.

Dr Allin-Khan, also a shadow minister for mental health, wrote: “I have deleted my earlier tweets which were inappropriate and wrong. I regret sharing unsubstantiated claims about the Minister and I apologise to him and his family.”

Mr Zahawi has been an MP for Stratford-on-Avon since May 2010.

He has yet to respond publicly on Dr Allin-Khan's tweets. The National has contacted his office for comment.

On December 8, the UK became the first nation in the world to start its vaccination campaign. It is prioritising elderly people and front-line health and social care staff.

NHS England said that by December 27, 786,000 people had been given the Pfizer/BioNTech shot.