Andrew Bridgen to sue Matt Hancock for defamation after Covid vaccine row
Andrew Bridgen has said he is suing Matt Hancock after the former health secretary hit out at the MP over comments he made about Covid jabs.
Mr Bridgen was stripped of the Tory whip after appearing to compare Covid-19 vaccines with the Holocaust.
The remarks were condemned from all sides, including by Mr Hancock, who led the Department of Health during much of the pandemic.
Mr Bridgen had already threatened legal action against Mr Hancock in relation to a tweet criticising the comments, with the North West Leicestershire MP tweeting that he would “allow Matt three days to apologise publicy [sic] for calling me an antisemite and racist or he will be contacted by my legal team”.
Mr Bridgen has said that he is not antisemitic while also defending his language about the safety of coronavirus vaccines, claiming that his suspension from the Conservative parliamentary party “says much about the current state of our democracy”.
In the days after the original remarks, he also said he was not racist and was “speaking to a legal team who will commence action against those who have led the call suggesting that I am”.
He tweeted on Thursday: “I can confirm that Matt Hancock had a legal letter before action from Bad Law Team on my behalf regarding defamation on Monday.”
The legal action is being supported by the Reclaim Party and the Bad Law Project.
The project, which is linked to Reclaim Party leader Laurence Fox, claims to oppose “political ideology disguised as law”.
A spokesperson for Mr Hancock said: “What Matt said was obviously not libellous and he stands by his comments.
“Rather than wasting his time and money on an absurd libel case he will undoubtedly lose, let’s hope Bridgen does the right thing and apologises for the hurt he’s caused and keeps his offensive view to himself in future.”