Andrew Bridgen stripped of Tory whip over Covid vaccine comments
Andrew Bridgen has had the Conservative Party whip removed after having “crossed a line” in his criticism of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The North West Leicestershire MP has been increasingly vocal in remarks questioning the coronavirus vaccine.
Today he tweeted an article on vaccines, adding: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.”
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.”
Tory MP Michael Fabricant welcomed the decision, adding that his former colleague will have “blood on his hands” if his comments stop people public getting vaccinated.
“If this deters people from being vaccinated and causes deaths as a direct consequence, he’ll have blood on his hands. His tweets are wholly irresponsible.”
Earlier, former Cabinet minister Simon Clarke had condemned Mr Bridgen’s tweet referencing the Holocaust, calling it “disgraceful”.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, called the comments “highly irresponsible and wholly inappropriate”.
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.
MPs agreed at the start of the week to suspend Mr Bridgen five sitting days from Tuesday.
Labour MP Christian Wakeford, formerly a Conservative, had also hit out at the North West Leicestershire MP over his comments.
Reacting to the removal of the whip, he said: “About time but it should have gone well before this.”
Mr Bridgen has been contacted for comment.