MP accused of using young girl’s post-mortem examination as ‘clickbait’

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Penny Mordaunt has accused MP Andrew Bridgen of using the post-mortem examination of a 14-year-old girl as “clickbait” on his social media feed in the latest of a series of heated Commons exchanges between the two.

The Commons Leader also accused Mr Bridgen of promoting “false propaganda” originating from the Kremlin and “abusing and undermining colleagues”.

Mr Bridgen said Ms Mordaunt had made an “outrageous slur” against him. He added he had previously tweeted regarding a report of a 14-year-old girl from Japan, who it is said died after receiving a third dose of a Covid vaccine.

Ms Mordaunt’s comments came during business questions, during which MP for North West Leicestershire Mr Bridgen raised the case of NHS clinical psychologist and frontline health worker Dr Stephen Wright.

An inquest into his death ruled on Wednesday that he died from the “unintended consequences of vaccination” after a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid jab.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “In light of yesterday’s Coroner’s Court ruling that the death of Dr Stephen Wright was due to unintended complications of the vaccine, we now have a legal precedent to review all cases of deaths which fell within the first 14 days of receiving these experimental treatments.

“Stephen, sadly, died 10 days after receiving his first dose of AstraZeneca.

“As previously, any death within a fortnight of receiving a vaccine was regarded as an unvaccinated death. His death was originally attributed to natural causes.

“Will Government issue a statement and also release details of all the other such cases of situations where people sadly died within 14 days of vaccination?”

The Commons Leader said she will ask the Health Secretary to “update the House in light of this recent change”, adding: “These are very serious matters that I know can shed concerns for many members on all sides of this house.

“MPs have spoken from across this House on many occasions about medical licensing and medical device licensing, processes and policies of the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), our Covid response and compensation for the vaccine injured, most recently raised on the floor of this House by one of our former attorney generals.

“These are totally legitimate and correct debates to have. Parliamentary scrutiny and debate is one of the many checks and balances that we have in this country to ensure that we are taking the right course of action on these and all other matters.

Downing Street partygate
MP Andrew Bridgen (Beresford Hodge)

She added: “What other colleagues are not doing is promoting false propaganda, which is widely known to originate from the Kremlin, abusing and undermining colleagues and the occupant of the chair, and using the autopsy of a 14-year-old girl as clickbait on their social media feed.

“All of which he has done in the past week and he might like to reflect on that.”

Mr Bridgen later defended his comments, telling the PA news agency: “Unfortunately, it’s the sort of outrageous slur which I have had to become accustomed to from the Leader of the House.

“Penny is clearly under orders from the Government, which is desperate to suppress any discussion of vaccine harms and deaths, which was the issue I raised.”

The exchange at business questions follows two similar rebukes from Ms Mordaunt before Easter, in which she said she pitied Mr Bridgen if he believed the claims he was making.

On another occasion, she urged him to “check his behaviour”.

Mr Bridgen used a debate in the Commons in March to call for the Government to “immediately stop the mRNA vaccine booster programme and initiate a full public inquiry into not only the vaccine harms but how every agency and institution set up to protect the public interest has failed so abysmally in its duties”.

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