LONDON — Penny Mordaunt had a withering putdown for the former Conservative MP who was booted out of the party for controversially likening the COVID-19 jab to the Holocaust.
Andrew Bridgen, now sitting as an MP for the “anti-woke” Reclaim Party, argued Thursday in the House of Commons that the BBC had peddled falsehoods about the jab at the height of the pandemic, and said it had “a checkered history” in its coronavirus coverage.
He demanded information on government meetings with the public broadcaster about its new BBC Verify service, aimed at tackling disinformation.
But Mordaunt — the House of Commons leader who drew international attention at the coronation of King Charles III — had little time for the claims, and took a dig at Bridgen in her response.
“I think we should pause for a moment because I think we may have just heard the first cuckoo of spring,” she said.
Other MPs in the chamber heckled Bridgen, with one urging him to “stop spreading disinformation.” Mordaunt has previously laid into Bridgen, accusing him of “promoting false propaganda” on the jabs as well “abusing and undermining colleagues.”
Bridgen represented the Tories as the MP for North West Leicestershire from 2010 until earlier this year.
But he was expelled from the Conservatives last month after using Twitter to share a link to a vaccine-related article on far-right blog ZeroHedge, accompanied by a claim that coronavirus jabs represented “the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.”
Mordaunt urged Bridgen to “make use of” more “reliable, honest” sources in carrying out his research.