Britain’s governing Conservative Party expelled a lawmaker from its parliamentary bloc on Wednesday for comparing COVID-19 vaccines to the Holocaust.
“Andrew Bridgen has crossed a line, causing great offence in the process,” said Simon Hart, the chief whip, or head of party discipline, for the Conservatives, also known as the Tories.
“Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives. I am therefore removing the whip from Andrew Bridgen with immediate effect, pending a formal investigation.”
The decision means Bridgen is no longer considered a member of the party’s bloc within parliament, decreasing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s majority.
Bridgen, a longstanding critic of COVID-19 vaccines, had earlier on Wednesday tweeted a link to an article on vaccine side effects, adding the comment: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.”
Britain’s governing party considers the fast roll-out of vaccines in 2021 to be one of its major achievements in power, and says the vaccine saved countless lives during the pandemic and allowed the country to end lockdowns quickly.