Andrew Bridgen to join Laurence Fox's Reclaim Party after Tory expulsion
Andrew Bridgen is set to join the Reclaim Party after his expulsion from the Conservatives, Sky News understands.
The North West Leicestershire MP was kicked out of his party last month after he compared the roll-out of COVID vaccines to the Holocaust.
He has continued to sit as an independent MP in the Commons, but on Wednesday will officially join Laurence Fox's party - making him their first parliamentary representative.
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Former actor Mr Fox set up Reclaim after appearing on BBC's Question Time and arguing with an audience member over whether the treatment of Meghan Markle in the media was racist.
Since then, he has made a number of controversial remarks about race, gay rights and COVID, and became a prominent anti-lockdown campaigner during the pandemic.
Mr Bridgen became a Tory MP in 2010 and at the last general election held the seat with a majority of over 20,400.
But last year, he began to tweet misinformation about COVID and raised his theories in the Commons, to the anger of many of his peers.
He was suspended by the party in January after posting that vaccines against the virus were "causing serious harms" and saying the roll-out programme was "the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust".
Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said at the time Mr Bridgen had "crossed a line, causing great offence in the process".
In April, a Tory Party spokesman said he had been officially expelled from the party "following the recommendation of a disciplinary panel", and was given until this Wednesday to appeal.
It was claimed to Sky News that Mr Bridgen filed a formal complaint about being kicked out three times but did not receive an acknowledgement.
And he said for that reason, he had lost all confidence in the party's processes so was not going to appeal.
A Conservative Party spokesperson confirmed that Mr Bridgen had not appealed his expulsion, telling Sky News: "Mr Bridgen was expelled from the Conservative Party on 12th April following the recommendation of a disciplinary panel. He was given 28 days from this date to appeal.
"He has chosen not to exercise that right."