Andrew Bridgen is taking legal action against Matt Hancock for £100,000 due to a Twitter message. In the message, Hancock accused Bridgen of promoting “anti-Semitic, anti-vax, anti-scientific conspiracy theories” regarding the Covid vaccine.
This month, Mr. Bridgen lost the Conservative whip due to his comments about the vaccine. He is now requesting Mr. Hancock to pay damages to a legal fund that supports individuals seeking collective redress for vaccine harms.
Mr. Bridgen’s Twitter message on January 11th stated that a consultant cardiologist told him that this situation is the worst crime against humanity since the Holocaust.
Above the user’s Twitter message, there was a tweet posted by an Israeli doctor expressing doubts about the safety of Covid vaccines.
On the same day, Mr. Hancock criticized Mr. Bridgen’s comments through Twitter, stating that the anti-Semitic, anti-vax, anti-scientific conspiracy theories voiced by a sitting MP were appalling and perilous. Such statements are not welcome in our society.
The disgusting and dangerous anti-semitic, anti-vax, anti-scientific conspiracy theories spouted by a sitting MP this morning are unacceptable and have absolutely no place in our society.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) January 11, 2023
Mr Bridgen stated that he did not make a racist or anti-Semitic comment and intends to take legal action against those who have accused him of doing so. On Jan 13, he took to Twitter and demanded that Mr Hancock publicly apologize for falsely calling him anti-Semitic and racist within three days. If he fails to do so, Mr Bridgen has stated that his legal team will contact Mr Hancock.
Mr. Bridgen’s legal team sent a letter to Mr. Hancock on January 18, which The Telegraph has seen. The letter stated the claim against Mr. Hancock and demanded damages. The legal team argued that the phrases ‘anti-Semitic’, ‘anti-vax’, ‘anti-scientific’, and ‘conspiracy theories’ were defamatory under common law.
Mr. Bridgen has sent a seven-page letter to Mr. Hancock, in which he requests him to retract and delete the defamatory statement from his tweet. The letter also states that he should apologize for the tweet, both orally in the House of Commons and in writing on his personal Twitter account.
According to the message, Mr. Hancock should confirm that a payment of £100,000 will be made into a legal fund on behalf of individuals who are seeking collective redress for vaccine harms under the UK Government’s Vaccine Damages Payment Scheme. This payment will serve as a full and final settlement of any potential claims.
The Reclaim Party and the “Bad Law Project” are providing financial support for Mr. Bridgen’s legal action. Laurence Fox, who leads the Reclaim Party, has stated that they are fully backing Mr. Bridgen and are seeking a complete apology from Mr. Hancock. Their concerns revolve around free speech, transparency, and compassion for those experiencing negative effects from vaccines.
According to a spokesman for Mr. Hancock who spoke to The Telegraph, Matt’s comments were not libelous, and he continues to support them. Instead of pursuing a frivolous libel case that he is likely to lose, it would be better if Bridgen apologized for any harm he caused and refrains from expressing his offensive opinions in the future.