British lawmaker Andrew Bridgen was suspended from the Conservative Party after he compared the COVID-19 vaccine to the Holocaust.
Sky News reported that Bridgen claimed COVID vaccines "are causing serious harms" and said the program was "the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust".
Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said in response, "Andrew Bridgen has crossed a line, causing great offence in the process. As a nation we should be very proud of what has been achieved through the vaccine program. The vaccine is the best defense against COVID that we have.”
"Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives. I am therefore removing the whip from Andrew Bridgen with immediate effect, pending a formal investigation," added Hart.
Having the whip removed means Bridgen is no longer a Conservative MP but is now an independent MP.
Bridgen has continually shared anti-vaccine messaging, claiming they are causing harm to people, according to Sky News. He went overboard on Wednesday when he posted a vaccine efficacy chart with the caption, "As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust."
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he "completely condemns those types of comments in the strongest possible terms".
"Obviously, it is utterly unacceptable to make linkages and use language like that, and I'm determined that the scourge of antisemitism is eradicated. It has absolutely no place in our society. And I know that the previous few years have been challenging for the Jewish community, and I never want them to experience anything like that ever again," he stressed.
Sajid Javid, who was health secretary during the pandemic, called the comment "morally repugnant" and said it is "dangerously wrong to imply the many good people who played their part in it are part of some kind of conspiracy".
Reacting to Bridgen having the whip removed, John Mann, the government's independent antisemitism adviser, said, "There is no possibility that Bridgen can be allowed to stand at the next election. He cannot claim that he didn't realize the level of offence that his remarks cause."
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "This comment is highly irresponsible, wholly inappropriate and an elected politician should know better."