Matt Hancock to defend ‘absurd action’ after being sued over vaccine row tweet

File photo dated 4/6/2021 of Matt Hancock. Rishi Sunak has defended the official coronavirus inquiry as the "right way" to scrutinise the handling of the pandemic after the extraordinary leak of Hancock's messages. The Prime Minister urged people not to focus on "piecemeal bits of information" after a trove of more than 100,000 WhatsApps linked to Mr Hancock's time as health secretary were handed to the Daily Telegraph. Issue date: Wednesday March 1, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

EX-Tory MP Andrew Bridgen today filed a defamation claim against Matt Hancock, after the I’m A Celeb MP accused him of being an antisemite.

Mr Bridgen was booted out of the Tory party in April after he compared Covid vaccines to the Holocaust.

Matt Hancock has vowed to fight against his former colleague Andrew Bridgen, who is suing him for libel

Andrew Bridgen will try and sue Matt Hancock for calling him antisemitic after he compared Covid vaccines to the Holocaust

He’s now joined the right-wing Reclaim Party, which was founded by the vaccine sceptic former actor Laurence Fox.

After Mr Bridgen made the gross comparison, Mr Hancock accused his old colleague of antisemitism.

But the North West Leicestershire hit back at the claim, insisting he is not racist towards Jewish people.

And today he confirmed he’ll try and sue the ex-Health Secretary for libel over the comment.

Mr Bridgen is being backed by his new party in doing so.

The MP said: “I have submitted a defamation claim to the Royal Court of Justice against one Matthew Hancock MP.

“The basis of my claim is that Mr Hancock’s accusation of antisemitism against me is a false slur to deliberately try and shutdown valid concerns raised by me on behalf of my constituents and thousands of others around the world about the safety and efficacy of experimental Covid 19 injections.” 

A spokesperson for Mr Hancock slammed the defamation attempt as “absurd” and “pathetic”.

“Matt will defend this absurd action, which is a pathetic publicity stunt,” they said.

“The claim has no credible basis and when Matt wins the case, he will also seek to recover all costs.

“Vaccines save lives, and Matt will always defend science and progress against unfounded conspiracy theories that put peoples’ health at risk.”

Commenting on Mr Bridgen’s original tweet, Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “The Holocaust was the systematic murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children. They were stripped of their citizenship, their rights, and their humanity.

“For these horrors to be co-opted by anti-vaxxers once again is appalling. Andrew Bridgen’s words were highly irresponsible, wholly inappropriate and an elected politician should know better.”

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