Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, The Conservative Party said Andrew Bridgen was expelled “following the recommendation of a disciplinary panel”
By Alex Smith & PA news agency
The Conservative Party has expelled MP Andrew Bridgen after he compared Covid-19 vaccines to the Holocaust and was found to have breached lobbying rules.
The member for North West Leicestershire had already lost the party whip, meaning he was sitting as an independent.
But the Tories have now stripped him of his party membership as well.
Mr Bridgen said his expulsion “confirms the culture of corruption, collusion and cover-ups”.
A Conservative Party spokesman said Mr Bridgen was expelled “following the recommendation of a disciplinary panel”.
He has 28 days, from the date of his expulsion on 12 April, to appeal.
Image source, PA Media
Image caption, Mr Bridgen’s vaccine comments were condemned by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Mr Bridgen said he intended to stand again at the next election.
“My expulsion from the Conservative Party under false pretences only confirms the culture of corruption, collusion and cover-ups which plagues our political system,” he said in a statement.
“I have been a vocal critic of the vaccine rollout and the party have been sure to make an example of me.
“I am grateful for my newfound freedom and will continue to fight for justice for all those harmed, injured and bereaved due to governmental incompetence.
“I will continue to serve my constituents as I was elected to do and intend to stand again at the next election.”
‘Careless and cavalier’
In December he called in Parliament for a “complete suspension” of the vaccines based on what he described as, “robust data of significant harms and little ongoing benefit”.
This went against the overwhelming weight of evidence, from a number of different independent teams of researchers, that found the benefits far outweighed any known harms.
He lost the whip in January after posting a tweet describing the Covid vaccine roll-out as “the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust”.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the comments as “utterly unacceptable”.
Earlier that month, he was handed a five-day suspension for breaking the MPs’ code of conduct banning lobbying.
The cross-party Commons Standards Committee found Mr Bridgen had breached rules by failing to declare his financial interests in Mere Plantations when writing to ministers about the company.
The Cheshire-based firm had donated money to Mr Bridgen’s local party and funded a trip to Ghana.
Following an investigation, the committee concluded the MP had shown a “careless and cavalier” attitude to the rules.
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