11 JANUARY 2023 | NEWS
Andrew Bridgen has been suspended from the Conservative Party after comparing Covid jabs to the Holocaust in a Twitter post, pending a formal investigation.
This means the North West Leicestershire MP will sit independently in the House of Commons.
Posting a link to an article on vaccines, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.”
He is already serving a five-day suspension from the Commons for breaching Parliamentary rules on registering financial interests.
In response, the Conservative Chief Whip, Simon Hart, condemned the comments, saying the MP had “crossed the line”.
He added: “As a nation, we should be very proud of what has been achieved throughout the vaccine programme.
“The vaccine is the best defence against Covid that we have. Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives.”
One nurse who spoke to Wolves said Mr Bridgen’s comments were “derogatory and disrespectful to those who have undergone horrific atrocities; to compare Covid vaccines to the Holocaust when this was a public health crisis”.
“It’s derogatory to all the hard-working nurses, doctors and those working in the NHS who supported the programme,” she added.
“I believe in vaccines. They’re one of the biggest public health preventative measures.”
Referring to anti-vaccine activists, she said it was “naïve and ignorant to think the vaccine didn’t help the pandemic”.
However, a Covid vaccine sceptic told Wolves that Mr Bridgen made a “rather wild comparison”, but that “I can understand where it’s coming from”.
“I mean, this is a Government actually slaughtering its own people, you know … so I sort of understand his point of view, but I think the Holocaust is a very emotional word to reach for … because now that was more particular against one group in society, whereas what the Government are doing really is allowing things to happen so that everyone is harmed, virtually.”
The former Vaccines Minister during the pandemic, Nadhim Zahawi, also took aim at Mr Bridgen’s comments.
He stated that he was “appalled” and that “any comparison made to the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, belittling of one of the greatest horrors ever committed by humanity”.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sir Keir Starmer claimed the MP was “whipping up anti-vax conspiracy theories”.
The Government’s independent adviser on anti-Semitism and non-affiliated peer, John Mann, said: “There is no possibility that Bridgen can be allowed to stand at the next election.
“He cannot claim that he didn’t realise the level of offence that his remarks cause.”
The party leader and Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has also condemned Mr Bridgen for his remarks.