A former backbench MP for the governing U.K. Conservative Party has announced he has launched a defamation claim against former Health Secretary Matt Hancock after being accused of being antisemitic for likening the Covid-19 vaccine to the Holocaust.
Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, was initially suspended from the governing party for his remarks and formally expelled last month. He has subsequently become the first ever MP for the Reclaim Party led by actor and campaigner Laurence Fox, a move that was announced on Wednesday at a press conference in London.
In January, Bridgen described the Covid-19 vaccine as “the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust,” a remark that was condemned by Mr. Hancock, who was Britain’s health secretary at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, as “antisemitic.”
Hancock himself has been suspended from the Conservative Party after appearing on the British reality TV show, “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.”
Bridgen has long been a critic of Britain’s health policy throughout the crisis, particularly in reference to its procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
In March, the lawmaker initiated a parliamentary debate over the future health consequences of the vaccines, highlighting research he claimed reveals a correlation between the Covid-19 vaccine uptake and excess mortality.
“All the science from 1990-2018 says vaccines don’t work on coronaviruses as they mutate too quickly. And guess what? In 2020 and onwards, they didn’t work!” Bridgen tweeted on Tuesday.
In a video, Bridgen claimed: “My tweet was in no way antisemitic. Indeed, it alluded to the Holocaust being the most heinous crime against humanity in living memory. Of course, if anyone is genuinely offended by my use of such imagery then I apologize for any offense caused.
“I wholeheartedly refute any suggestion that I am racist, and I am currently speaking to a legal team who will commence action against those who have led the call suggesting that I am.”
One such target in the MP’s crosshairs is Mr. Hancock, and Bridgen has now launched a crowdfunder to help fund his legal proceedings.
“If I am successful, any damages awarded will be donated in full to support the seriously vaccine injured and their ongoing fight for recognition and remedy,” he wrote.
Reclaim party leader Laurence Fox told attendees of Wednesday’s press conference that Bridgen was “cruelly canceled” by the Conservatives for speaking out on the unforeseen effects of the coronavirus vaccines, and said it was “time to fight back” against those trying to discredit and stifle political debate on the issue.