Jacob Rees-Mogg issues apology to doctor opposed to no-deal Brexit

Henrietta Strickland
September 7, 2019

Mr Rees-Mogg in Parliament accused the consultant of "fear-mongering" and said: "I am afraid it seems to me that Dr David Nicholl is as irresponsible as Dr Wakefield", referring to Andrew Wakefield, the former doctor whose discredited paper on links between vaccines and autism kick-started the damaging "anti-vaxx" movement.

Dr Nicholl is a respected NHS conultant neurologist who contributed to the leaked Operation Yellowhammer planning document which predicted shortages of medicines, food and fuel in the event of No Deal.

Phillip Lee, another doctor-turned MP who quit the Conservatives for the Liberal Democrats this week, called the comments "shocking and ignorant".

He said: "But yes, a lot of remainers wish to make our skin crawl".

"So if I am going to cite an incident, the straw that broke the camel's back, it was that".

He continued: "What he had to say - I will repeat it - is as irresponsible as Dr Wakefield, in threatening that people will die because we leave the European Union".

'It was disgraceful, it was about ignoring evidence, it was about showing disrespect to experts, to people with professional standing and knowledge'.

The comparison to Dr Wakefield was also criticised by England's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, who wrote a letter to him saying: 'I feel compelled to express my honest disappointment in the disrespectful way you spoke to and about Dr David Nicholl'.

Rees-Mogg's comments, made as he addressed the Commons on Wednesday during his duties as the leader of the house, provoked gasps from the opposition benches, and were condemned by the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) and many MPs. "What level of irresponsibility was that".

Jacob Ress-Mogg is under fire again this afternoon, for comparing a doctor with whom he clashed over the government's Brexit preparedness with the disgraced former surgeon responsible sowing unfounded doubts about the safety of vaccines.

The doctor in question told the Guardian that he will take no lessons from a "muppet" with no medical qualifications.

He said: 'I apologise to Dr Nicholl for the comparison with Dr Wakefield.

"Words have actions, behaving like that will have actions and it really is shameful for him to behave in that way". "What does he know about epilepsy or neuropathic pain?" he added. To suggest I am wrong in what I say is defamatory.

"It's fortunate they are being written by other people now who are serious about mitigating rather than Remoaners". We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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