‘Anti-science extremist’: Tory MP shut down for claiming Covid jabs ‘disaster in the making’

A Tory MP has been called an “anti-science extremist” and accused of trumpeting a “discredited conspiracy theory” over claims on Covid vaccines made to parliament.

Sir Christopher Chope has been shut down by MPs, campaigners and experts over comments made on Thursday, which were branded “ridiculous” and “offensive”.

The Convervative veteran said in parliament: “Does my Right Honourable Gentleman accept there is another NHS treatment disaster in the making in the fact there may be 10,000 or more people who have suffered serious injury or even death as a result of adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccinations?”

He called for “justice for these people immediately”.

The House of Commons speaker responded by saying Sir Christopher was “normally better than than” and calling it a “poor effort”.

Martin McKee from Independent Sage group of experts told The Independent: “The speaker’s response said it all. This comment is so ridiculous that it doesn’t justify a comment.”

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson, said there was “absolutely no reliable evidence” backing up claims tens of thousands have suffered damage or died from the Covid jab.

“This is dangerous misinformation based on the Yellow Card Scheme of self-reported symptoms that is often used by anti-vaxxers to discredit the Covid-19 vaccine,” she said.

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, also dismissed the claims. “This is baseless offensive and wrong. Why do the Conservatives tolerate these anti-science extremists in their party?”

A spokesperson for the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign group told The Independent: “Every loss from either Covid-19 or the vaccine is a complete tragedy, however the ‘10,000’ figure Mr Chope cites is a discredited conspiracy theory.”

“Vaccines have moved us out of the worst of the pandemic and saved countless lives, so to make these comments when cases are rising and vaccine take up is falling is extremely irresponsible. Frankly, it’s terrifying to hear in the House of Commons, where life and death public health decisions are being made.”

More than 52 million people in the UK have received one vaccine dose for Covid, while 49 million have received a second and 38.8 million a booster.

The British government says vaccination is the “single most effective way to reduce deaths and severe illness” from Covid.

In the first two years of the pandemic, around 187,000 people in the UK have Covid on their death certificate.

Sir Christopher has been approached for comment by The Independent.

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