UK Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen stripped of party whip over Covid vaccine tweet

Tory said doctor told him vaccinating children against coronavirus was a crime against humanity

Andrew Bridgen has been increasingly vocal in questioning the coronavirus vaccine. PA
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MP Andrew Bridgen has lost the Conservative Party whip after “crossing a line” in his criticism of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The move came hours after he tweeted an article on vaccination and said: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.”

The North-West Leicestershire MP has been increasingly vocal in questioning the coronavirus vaccine.

Chief whip Simon Hart said spreading misinformation about vaccines was harmful.

“Andrew Bridgen has crossed a line, causing great offence in the process,” Mr Hart said.

“As a nation, we should be very proud of what has been achieved through the vaccine programme. The vaccine is the best defence against Covid that we have.

“Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives. I am therefore removing the whip from Andrew Bridgen with immediate effect, pending a formal investigation.”

Earlier, former cabinet minister Simon Clarke condemned Mr Bridgen’s tweet, calling it “disgraceful”.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, called Mr Bridgen’s comments “highly irresponsible” and “wholly inappropriate”.

Actor and political activist Laurence Fox supported Mr Bridgen's decision to express doubt over the safety of vaccines, writing on Twitter that “it is imperative our MPs have the freedom to speak up or democracy is just a mirage”.

“It's perfectly reasonable to argue excess deaths are a result of a gene therapy with known dangerous side effects,” Mr Fox added.

Mr Bridgen last week wrote on Twitter that children’s immune systems are not fully developed until the age of seven “and so could be particularly damaged by these experimental gene therapies”.

“I can think of nothing more important than protecting our children,” he added. “The truth does not need protecting, it’s like a lion. It can look after itself, all we have to do is set it free.”

Supporters of Mr Bridgen on Tuesday gathered outside parliament to back his decision to oppose vaccinating children. They held placards warning the government not to make them into “lab rats”.

In December he said he had persistently questioned the safety of vaccines to try to save lives.

“This is not just a fight for hearts and minds over the safety and efficacy of the experimental mRNA treatments, this is a battle for our lives and freedoms,” he said. “What sort of country do we want to live in and for our children to inherit?”

Mr Bridgen is currently suspended from the Commons after he was found to have displayed a “very cavalier” attitude to the rules in a series of lobbying breaches.

Updated: January 11, 2023, 1:19 PM