Covid: Tory councillor suspended after defending Andrew Bridgen
A Conservative councillor has been suspended after defending Andrew Bridgen’s Covid vaccination 'Holocaust’ comments
Tory Cllr Alex Stevenson has been suspended after he defended Andrew Bridgen’s comments which dubbed the Covid vaccination the “biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust”.
On a public Facebook page, Stevenson, who represents Greater Heanor on Derbyshire County Council and Shipley Park, Horsley and Horsley Woodhouse on Amber Valley Borough Council, said he “stood with” Bridgen.
Cllr Stevenson said his colleague “did not compare the vaccine to the Holocaust” but that it was the worst crime to humanity “since” the Holocaust, claiming this is “totally different”.
He said: “Andrew Bridgen MP told the truth regarding the injuries and deaths from these vaccines. I have personally met these people.”
Stevenson told The Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Many people are dying and suffering as a result of taking this medical intervention.
“I personally have no issues about vaccines. But this mRNA is not as safe and effective as we are told. If anyone speaks out they are instantly called anti-vax or conspiracy theory nutters. But the evidence is there if people wish to look.
“I do get a lot of people contact me. Many medical staff are afraid to speak out for losing their jobs. So many supported it, as I did, until I met a few from Derby Royal who completely changed my mind.
“Since then I have spoken with many more. The damage done to humanity is immense… over half a million injuries reported, that’s what we know about.”
The councillor did not wish to provide further details on which staff he spoke to and what capacity they provided their comments that proved influential.
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Bridgen, who is Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire had the Tory whip withdrawn following his comments which now means he is sitting as an independent.
He had tweeted: “As one cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust,” alongside a link to an article which claimed to show several alleged health risks caused by mRNA Covid vaccines.
No Covid vaccines use a live Covid virus or can give the patient Covid and they do not affect the person’s DNA.
A spokesperson for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees Royal Derby Hospital, said: “Covid vaccines are clinically evidenced and their effectiveness measured, and it is disappointing that this kind of misinformation is being shared as it undermines the exceptional efforts of NHS staff to vaccinate people against this still serious virus.
“We have one of the highest NHS staff Covid vaccine uptake rates in the region, and the trust continues to fully encourage everyone eligible to continue to take up the vaccine and protect themselves.”
Talking about the comments, Tom Gray, a clinical pharmacist at Riversdale Surgery in Belper said “there have undoubtedly been people harmed by Covid-19 vaccines” but “the rate of permanent harm or death due to these vaccines is extremely low”.
He added: “I have no doubt that we need a full review of the planning, delivery, impact and outcomes of the Covid-19 vaccine programme, but this needs to be done responsibly, and within the wider policy, regulatory and social framework that defined our response to the Covid-19 pandemic in UK.”
In Parliament, former health secretary Matt Hancock had labelled Bridgen’s comments as “disgusting, anti-Semitic, anti-vax conspiracy theories” and that they were “deeply offensive and anti-scientific”.
In response, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, condemned the comments made adding that his words are “utterly unacceptable”.
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