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Tory councillor suspended after backing Bridgen

Time and date:2010-12-5 17:23:32  author:Press center2   source:Press center3  view:  comment:0
Content summary:Derbyshire county councillor Alex Stevenson's views were described as being "at odds" with the party. Taobao

A Conservative councillor has been suspended by his party after expressing support for MP Andrew Bridgen over his controversial Covid comments.

The North West Leicestershire MP had the whip withdrawn after posting a tweet that drew a comparison between vaccines and the Holocaust.

Alex Stevenson, a councillor with Derbyshire County Council, claimed the remarks had been misinterpreted.

But local Tory bosses said his views were "at odds" with the party.

Mr Bridgen, who previously welcomed the development of the Covid vaccines, has recently begun to make baseless claims including that damage caused by the vaccines was being covered up.

On Wednesday he posted a link to an article on vaccines, adding the comment: "As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust."

He was suspended later that day, with Conservative chief whip Simon Hart saying the comments had "crossed a line" and the prime minister branding his remarks "utterly unacceptable".

However, in a public Facebook post, Mr Stevenson - who represents Greater Heanor - gave his backing to Mr Bridgen.

The councillor, who has also spoken against Covid vaccines, said the MP "did not compare the vaccine to the Holocaust" but said it was the worst crime to humanity "since" the Holocaust, and this was "totally different".

He went on to say Mr Bridgen had "told the truth" about vaccines.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service showed the post to Kevin Buttery, Conservative leader of Amber Valley Borough Council - where Mr Stevenson also sits - and Barry Lewis, the Tory county council leader.

Mr Buttery said: "I am aware that Councillor Alex Stevenson has previously been critical of the lockdown policy and the use of Covid vaccinations, which extensive independent research has shown to be extremely effective in preventing deaths.

"However, this recent post clearly demonstrates his beliefs are at odds with Amber Valley Conservatives and the Conservative Party as a whole.

"In the circumstances, I have taken the decision, in conjunction with Councillor Barry Lewis... to withdraw the Conservative whip from Councillor Alex Stevenson, with immediate effect."

Mr Lewis said an investigation would now take place into Mr Stevenson's social media comments.

When approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Stevenson said his beliefs about Covid vaccines were shared by medical professionals he had spoken to, but would not give further details when asked.

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