'Biggest crime since Holocaust': British MP suspended over COVID vaccine commentsComments
A British politician has been censured by his party for comparing the UK's COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the Holocaust.
Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP from Leicestershire, posted a website link to Twitter on Tuesday morning which purports to show evidence that COVID vaccines are more dangerous than healthcare officials or the government had previously said.
"As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust (sic)," wrote Bridgen, a pro-Brexit politician first elected to parliament in 2010.
The Conservative Party's chief whip Simon Hart, who is responsible for maintaining good conduct within the parliamentary group, issued a statement saying that Bridgen had "crossed a line, causing great offence in the process."
"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."
Having the whip removed means that Bridgen is effectively expelled from the party structure in Westminster, while officials are to carry out a formal investigation.
Bridgen has posted regularly on social media to share vaccine conspiracy theories, including earlier this month when he claimed that governments were "influencing" information about COVID vaccine risks.
On Tuesday morning, he posted a series of tweets about COVID, including sharing a post that claimed the BBC was "censoring things that are true" about vaccines, with a video clip of right-wing US television host Tucker Carlson.
Bridgen also wrote Tuesday that "we know the ‘vaccines’ are causing serious harms and now it’s becoming increasingly clear how they are doing it. No wonder so many people are ill since vaccination."
It's not the first time the parliamentarian has found himself in trouble. He is currently serving a five-day suspension from the House of Commons for breaking the rulesaround lobbying and declaring his outside financial interests.
In 2011 he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after a woman in her 20s made a formal complaint to police. Bridger denied the allegations, and no charges were pressed. The case was dropped.