Conspiracy Crowd React to Andrew Bridgen Adjournment Debate

Andrew Mitchell MP also dragged into conspiracy narrative

From The i Newspaper:

A disgraced MP who was stripped of the Conservative whip for comparing the use of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust is free to raise “dangerous” anti-vax conspiracy theories in Parliament, the Commons Speaker has said.

Andrew Bridgen, who lost the party whip in January, “has a right to express his views whether others agree with them or not”, a spokeswoman for Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

It came after Mr Bridgen once again used a Commons adjournment debate to make a series of claims about Covid vaccines, including that boosters are “state-sponsored self harm on a national level”.

The claims were thoroughly debunked by Health Minister Will Quince, who said vaccines have “saved tens of thousands of lives, reduced the pressure on the NHS and were instrumental in allowing our economy and society to reopen”.

The exchange can be viewed on Parliament TV here, with the Hansard transcript here. Bridgen also uploaded the segment to his YouTube channel – there was apparently a period of three hours on Friday evening (1) when it was removed “for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines”, but the platform then realised that censoring a video of official Parliamentary proceedings was the wrong call. Bridgen credits the u-turn to “a large public outcry”, although most of those who complained about it on social media were unaware that it was already back online.

Bridgen’s speech was a summary of the anti-Covid vaccination tropes that he is already known for – the only notable detail was that he avoided repeating in Parliament the extravagant “plandemic” claims he has made on social media, such as that members of various security services knew about Covid in advance and had been warned not to get vaccinated, and that it has been “confirmed” to him that the virus and the vaccines were both created by the US Department of Defense at Fort Detrick and in Canada. (2)

Adjournment debates are held at the end of the day’s business in the House of Commons, and the word “debate” is a misnomer – all that happens is that an MP makes a speech and a minister replies. They are a device by which an issue may be entered into the Parliamentary record (or in this case, by which Bridgen can get some free publicity from GB News), and as such they are typically poorly attended. In this instance, the “debate” was on a Friday afternoon, and there weren’t many MPs present even before Bridgen started. Given that Bridgen is disgraced and marginal, there was never much chance that MPs would show up to listen to him, or remain just to hear him when other business had been concluded.

As might have been expected, however, conspiracy influencers claim that MPs failed to attend because they either don’t care about vaccination injury or because their presence would for some unexplained reason be problematic. The strongest version of this narrative alleges that Andrew Mitchell crossed the floor either to urge or to instruct two opposition MPs to leave, and that this precipitated a general flight from the chamber. This claim seems to have begun with the anti-Covid vax retired actor John Bowe, and was amplified by usual suspects (some of whom will be familiar from GB News): John Bye notes Dominque Samuels, Matt Le Tissier, Bernie Spofforth, Leilani Dowding, James Freeman, June Slater, Anna de Buisseret and even Andrew Bridgen’s wife Nevena Bridgen.

Some also posted recent photos of Mitchell with Bill Gates – Mitchell is active in polio eradication efforts, and the conspiracy crowd making him villain of the day is a further sign that conspiratorial anti-vax narratives must by logic expand beyond just Covid vaccination to other vaccines.

The actual context is that Bridgen spoke following the Second Reading of Layla Moran’s  Palestinian Statehood (Recognition) Private Member’s Bill, during which Mitchell responded on behalf of the government. When Mitchell crossed the floor to speak to Moran privately for a moment as Bridgen began, this was most likely a courtesy farewell, or perhaps something to do with the issue they had been discussing. The idea that he approached her to say “Quick, Andrew Bridgen is speaking about vaccine injury, you’ve got to get out” is fantastical and nonsensical. It is also clear from the full video that Moran and an MP sitting next to her were already getting ready to leave before Mitchell came over.

UPDATE (20 March): Antivax YouTuber Dr John Campbell (the “Dr” is a PhD in nursing) has managed to milk the Mitchell non-incident into a five minute video. Campbell’s extensive commentary on a slow-motion running of the footage is particularly impressive given that Campbell fails to identify either Mitchell or Moran by name and appears to be completely ignorant of the adjournment debate context.


1. Someone posting a link to the video at 7.20 pm said it that had been “nuked”, and Bridgen complained about the removal at 8.19 pm. There is is gap in users posting the link on Twitter until 10.33 pm, indicating that it was restored around then.

2. The latter claim was made on Twitter, and it may be that someone else has access to his account. One sign of this is a Bridgen Tweet that appeared on Friday at 2.49 pm, which was while he was in full flow making his speech. We also know that Bridgen receives “speechwriting support” from Laurence Fox’s “Reclaim the Media” organisation.

3 Responses

  1. GB News I believe, is allowed by Braverman to go to Rwanda, but the BBC and Guardian are prohibited from going. I wonder why…..Good to see the protests are building. Good to see the U.N. weighing in against Braverman and the rest of the Highwaymen Party’s violations of international Human Rights Treaty Law, with sanctions likely, to which Braverman shrugged her shoulders. (BraverPutin ?) The tories have trashed the economy, trashed Human Rights, doing well aren’t they. A load of immigrants getting their revenge on the U.K. for the damage the British Empire did India and other countries. Jewish Hitler attacked the Jews, Braverman and other immigrants attack immigrants. History always repeats itself, and soft Labour does a Chamberlain. Now a new Party may emerge from the “Citizen’s Army of whistleblowers” and mass protests brewing for so many smashings of Raab HRA, Gove’s attack on “Woke and Proud”, trying to punish parents in stress, and Reece Hog smashing of law full stop. Strange that Sunak with his ‘auto-grinning’, copying Hunt, pals up with Biden, despite the Americans repatriating 8,000 Russians escaping from being called up in Russia. There have been calls for indefinite strikes to rid the dis-united Kingdom of this autocratic government (government ?).

  2. On Covid vaccinations which have almost eliminated the disease, or heavily reduced the chances of infection, the only comment I have on vaccinations, is it could have been wise to first offer allergy testing to avoid the few cases of serious reactions. For the majority, no side effects at all, but I do admit the last booster I had given with anti-flu AT THE SAME TIME did make me feel a bit rough for a day. Perhaps better to have anti-covid, then some days later anti-flu. Both together at the same time, may overload the antibody system, but when covid given separately, to the usual flu jab, personal experience is no reaction whatsoever.

  3. Surprising that an MP quoting Government collected and researched data is not listened to.

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