A Tory MP has had the whip removed after comparing the rollout of mRNA Covid vaccines to the Holocaust.
Andrew Bridgen shared an article on the Pfizer and Moderna jabs on Twitter, which was based on safety data published by US health agencies.
The Tory MP for North West Leicestershire said: ‘As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.’
Chief Whip Simon Hart said his comment ‘crossed the line, causing great offence in the process’. He removed the whip with ‘immediate effect’ pending a formal investigation.
Andrew Bridgen shared an article on the Pfizer and Moderna jabs on Twitter, which was based on safety data published by US health agencies
The Tory MP for North West Leicestershire said: ‘As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust’
Chief Whip Simon Hart said his Tweet ‘crossed the line’ and removed the whip with ‘immediate effect’ pending a formal investigation
The tweet gained 150,000 views in just two hours, with dozens of users of the social media platform hitting out at the ‘disgusting analogy’ and labelling him ‘dangerous’.
Chief Whip Simon Hart said: ‘Andrew Bridgen has crossed a line, causing great offence in the process.
‘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.’
Simon Clarke, Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said the tweet was ‘disgraceful’.
One Tory friend of Mr Bridgen told MailOnline the situation is ‘really sad’ and he was overshadowing ‘good work’ he had done in the past.
‘If it is the end of his career it is sad,’ the MP said.
Michael Fabricant, Tory MP for Lichfield, said if Mr Bridgen’s comment ‘deters people from being vaccinated and causes deaths as a direct consequence, he’ll have blood on his hands’.
‘His tweets are wholly irresponsible,’ he added.
It is not the first time Mr Bridgen has faced criticism for his views on Covid vaccines.
He tweeted about an essay in a publication affiliated to the prestigious British Medical Journal and claimed it ‘confirmed’ the vaccine ‘more harm than benefit to younger people’.
‘The roll out must be suspended and children must not be put at risk through these experimental mRNA treatments,’ he said.
But the BMJ last week hit back at Mr Bridgen, arguing his comment was ‘misleading for several reasons’.
A spokesperson for the publication, launched in 1840, said: ‘The JME aims to further the ethical analysis of key issues in healthcare.
‘The views, analysis, and conclusions reached in its content belong to the authors, not the journal itself.
‘The article develops an argument about the ethics of mandatory Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid vaccine booster doses in some American universities.
‘It does not claim that Covid vaccines are unsafe, only that based on the available evidence, the risk-benefit ratio doesn’t justify mandating booster shots in college students, in the authors’ opinion.’
And in December, Mr Bridgen claimed that someone in a ‘prominent leadership role’ in the British Heart Foundation was ‘covering up clear data that reveals the mRNA vaccine increases inflammation of the heart arteries’.
Mr Bridgen presented no evidence to support his claims, other than it being from a ‘whistleblower from a very reliable source’.
The BHF argued it did not recognise Mr Bridgen’s comments and strongly refuted his allegations.
The MP is currently on the second day of a five-day suspension from the Commons.
The move was recommended by the Standards Committee after Mr Bridgen failed to declare a financial interest in Mere Plantations — a reforestation company with links to Ghana but based in the UK — which he was lobbying on behalf of.
A report by the committee states he failed to declare that he was paid £12,000 by the company in ‘eight emails to ministers, and in five meetings with public officials’.
Mr Bridgen’s actions were described as ‘careless and cavalier’ and led him to breach the MPs’ code of conduct.
The committee also determined he attempted to influence Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone, who conducted the investigation.
He reportedly told her he had heard a ‘rumour’ that she would only receive a peerage if she ruled against him.
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