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Ex-Tory MP Andrew Bridgen sues Matt Hancock over COVID vaccine row after joining Lawrence Fox’s Reclaim Party | Politics news

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Former Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen launched legal action against Matt Hancock after joining actor Lawrence Fox’s Reclaim Party.

Mr Bridgen was expelled from the Conservative Party in April after he said in January that the COVID-19 vaccine was “the greatest crime against humanity since the Holocaust”.

Former health secretary Mr Hancock, who is still suspended from the Tories for appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, condemned Mr Bridgen’s comments as “anti-Semitic”.

Mr Bridgen announced on Wednesday that he was now suing for defamation in the High Court as he said Mr Hancock’s comments were an attempt to “shut down a valid concern I have raised”.

He launched a crowdfunding appeal for his lawsuit and said any surplus funds would be donated to charities that “support those affected by and those who have died from COVID.”

The MP for North West Leicestershire also announced that there is joined the “Return” party.which was launched by actor Laurence Fox in 2020.

He will stand as his new party’s candidate in the seat he has held since 2010 at the next general election, which Bridgen predicts will be held this autumn.

Mr Bridgen said he could appeal his expulsion from the Conservative Party but was not doing so because the party was “out of touch with the hopes and aspirations of the people” and pursued policies “that threaten the liberties of my constituents”.

He said he receives “thousands of emails from the public” every week telling him how important it is to oppose the COVID vaccine, and “gets stopped on the street and told how important it is to the public.”

“The difference between the public and the parliament is like night and day,” he added.

“Without justice, we will plunge into a time of darkness and tyranny.”

Today the MP will physically cross the floor of the House of Commons to take his seat on the opposition benches, where he will sit as the first Returning Party MP.

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