Andrew Bridgen loses Whip over Covid vaccine misinformation

Rishi Sunak dodges questions about the Royal Family

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Andrew Bridgen has had the whip removed after the MP compared the Covid vaccine to the Holocaust. Chief Whip Simon Hart said Mr Bridgen had crossed a line.

Mr Bridgen shared figures on Twitter which claimed to list potential adverse effects of the Covid vaccine.

Along with a link to the numbers, Mr Bridgen commented in his tweet: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.”

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.”

Mr Bridgen has been approached for comment.

Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge tweeted that the removal of the whip sent a “clear” message.

She tweeted: “Clear message to anyone who thinks the Holocaust and vaccines are comparable. Just stop and think.”

Mr Bridgen has made a number of Covid related claims with the fact-checking charity, Full Fact, asking him twice to correct the record.

Before Mr Bridgen’s expulsion from the Conservative Party, a spokesperson told Huffington Post: “The vaccine is the best defence that we have against Covid. Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives.”

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MPs agreed on Monday to suspend Mr Bridgen after he was found to have displayed a “very cavalier” attitude to the rules in a series of lobbying breaches.

The backbencher should have told ministers and officials about his relationship with Cheshire-based firm Mere Plantations as he made multiple representations.

Parliament’s Standards Committee found Mr Bridgen also called into question the integrity of standards commissioner Kathryn Stone on the basis of “wholly unsubstantiated and false allegations”.

He appealed against the recommendation to suspend him, but Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel dismissed it “on all grounds”.

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The suspension was agreed in the Commons unopposed, although Mr Bridgen was unable to attend.

Sir Chris Bryant, Labour chairman of the Standards Committee, called on Mr Bridgen to make an apology in the chamber, telling MPs: “The committee also, as is referred to in the motion, required the member to make an apology to the House.

“I understand of course that he has not been able to be here today, but I hope that that will be able to happen as soon as possible after he comes back.”

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans said: “That is on the record. I assume that that is exactly what will happen.”

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