UK: Tory MP Bridgen Loses Whip Over COVID Tweet

    UK: Tory MP Bridgen Loses Whip Over COVID Tweet
    Last updated Jan 11, 2023
    Image credit: PA Media [via The Guardian]


    • Britain's Conservative chief whip Simon Hart announced on Wednesday that MP Andrew Bridgen for North West Leicestershire has lost the party whip a few hours after — quoting a cardiologist — he compared the use of COVID vaccines to the Holocaust in a now-deleted tweet.[1]
    • Bridgen, who is currently serving a five-day suspension from the House of Commons for allegedly violating parliamentary rules on registering financial interests, will now sit as an independent while a formal investigation takes place.[2]
    • The backbencher, who has become a prominent critic of the COVID vaccine in recent months, wrote that the vaccine program was the "biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust," quoting a cardiologist.[3]
    • This parallel with the Holocaust came alongside data posted by the libertarian Zero Hedge financial blog and news aggregator.[4]
    • PM Rishi Sunak condemned Bridgen's comment at Prime Minister's Questions, deeming this linkage "utterly unacceptable" and expressing his resolve to eradicate anti-Semitism from British society.[5]
    • Bridgen on Thursday apologised "for any offence caused" but defended his remarks as being in "no way antisemitic." He vowed to "continue to ask" questions about the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines.[6]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Not only is Bridgen's comparison deeply offensive, but it's also dangerously wrong and highly irresponsible as COVID vaccines have saved millions of lives — and could have avoided some 600K deaths if a World Health Organization target of vaccinating 40% of the global population before 2022 had been met. Ideological beliefs should play no role in scientific debates as the safety and efficacy of vaccines are tested rigorously in clinical trials.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While Bridgen's comment was undoubtedly tone-deaf, his punishment for sharing the views of a cardiologist is disproportionate to his so-called crime. Although rare, there has been evidence of vaccine side effects, and individuals should be free to question the establishment, regardless of their political role. The MP has deleted the tweet, and it's now time to focus on his alleged violation of parliamentary rules.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 3% chance that pediatric cases of hepatitis with unknown origin will be conclusively linked to COVID vaccination, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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