A piece in today’s Sunday Times:
A Labour shadow health minister was today forced to apologise after sharing false rumours that the government’s vaccine minister had jumped the queue to get himself vaccinated early.
Rosena Allin-Khan, a former A&E doctor, suggested on Saturday that Nadhim Zahawi might have got himself and his family vaccinated ahead of clinically vulnerable groups.
In a series of tweets, which she had since deleted, Dr Allin-Khan said: “Nadhim, can you please tell us if it’s true?
“I really hope it’s not, unless you meet the necessary criteria. There are millions of vulnerable people waiting patiently in the queue.”
She then tweeted discouraging people from “throwing unnecessary attacks against the minister” and said that she did “not know if this is true but I am hoping he will have the decency to answer”. [J4MB: Rosena Allin-Khan, it has been reported that you have the IQ of a brick. I do not know if this is true but I am hoping you will have the decency to answer the claim.]
In a further tweet she apologised for causing “a pile on”, which she said “was absolutely not my intention, and for that I apologise”.
Later she sent a final tweet stating that she had deleted her previous comments “which were inappropriate and wrong”.
“I regret sharing unsubstantiated claims about the minister and I apologise to him and his family,” she said.
Labour sources indicated that Dr Allin-Khan had been told to delete the message and apologise. She is not expected to face any further disciplinary action. [J4MB emphasis: No shit, Sherlock!]
Mr Zahawi thanked Dr Allin-Khan for her apology as he confirmed that the accusation was not true.
“It is sad you chose to act like this, we all need to work together to beat this awful disease,” he said.
Mr Zahawi, who is overseeing the vaccine rollout, has previously revealed that he is taking part in the trials of the Novavax version, and was pictured having a jab in November.
Meanwhile Mr Zahawi, who was appointed health minister responsible for the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine in November, attacked another Labour MP who questioned the government’s vaccine strategy.
Clive Lewis highlighted a controversial New York Times article that wrongly suggested that the government was planning to mix and match the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines over the two doses.
“Next they’ll be suggesting the second vaccine dose can be substituted with bleach,” he wrote.
Mr Zahawi said that the New York Times story was categorically untrue, adding: “Clive this is irresponsible of you. Amplifying it is really the wrong thing to do.The Chief Medical Officers have been very clear. If you have the Pfizer vaccine you get two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, if you have the Oxford/AZ (vaccine) you get 2 doses of Oxford/AZ (vaccine).”
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