This interview has now been transcribed (see below).
On Tuesday 12 April 2022, the UK Column News team was delighted to be joined by Sir Christopher Chope for a detailed discussion about British Government plans to provide compensation for vaccine adverse reactions, particularly where the impact on a vaccinated individual has been serious and life-changing.
Sir Christopher had recently spoken out in Parliament on this subject and his remarks were covered by UK Column News on Monday 11 April 2022. Following our news report, we were delighted that many of our regular audience took the initiative to contact Sir Christopher directly with personal letters and e-mails of support. He was clearly very pleased to receive this support and recognition, and we thank you all for your efforts.
In our extended interview, Mike Robinson, Brian Gerrish and our Nursing Correspondent, Debi Evans, were able to discuss a wide range of issues around vaccines and vaccine adverse effects. In addition to discussion of the need for a comprehensive compensation scheme for those who have suffered adverse effects, topics included:
- irregularities in MHRA Yellow Card adverse reaction statistics and data;
- failure of the British Government's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to engage with both Sir Christopher, UK Column and members of the public asking pertinent questions concerning vaccine safety;
- failure of the MHRA to provide any details of its investigation of vaccine adverse reactions and deaths;
- failure of the British body with ultimate oversight for pharmacovigilance, the Commission for Human Medicines, to answer similar concerns;
- concern over the MHRA's close relationship with pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, giving rise to specific concerns as to the MHRA's impartiality in its role as a public safety agency;
- concerns over the reluctance of the Government and the media to question or challenge both vaccine policy and vaccine adverse effects;
- the inappropriate use of 'fact-checking' organisations, such as FullFact, to undermine legitimate questioning of vaccine safety;
- and the sinister implications of the imminent Online Safety Bill in its ability to shut down any challenges to the government line on vaccine products and vaccine safety issues.
Please join us in this very important discussion with Sir Christopher Chope MP, and please do share the information widely.
Your positive efforts in supporting Sir Christopher and the UK Column undoubtedly facilitated our interview taking place. We are sure that further, measured, positive support from UK Column paying subscribers and our wider audience can add substantial weight to the clear need to question the existing system of public safety in respect of vaccines, and can ensure that those suffering vaccine adverse effects are sufficiently compensated for damage incurred.
Brian Gerrish: I'm delighted to say that today we are joined by Sir Christopher Chope MP, who has recently spoken out in the House of Commons on the subject of vaccines and vaccine adverse reactions.
We covered a little piece of that video clip of the time, and it produced a huge response in our audience. We had many e-mails from people saying how pleased they were to hear Sir Christopher speaking up on the subject, and I also think that a few of our viewers actually wrote to Sir Christopher in person to thank him for his efforts in trying to bring some of the more serious aspects of vaccines and the adverse effects to the surface.
So, Sir Christopher, welcome very much to UK Column and thank you very much for joining us today.
Sir Christopher Chope: Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for giving this issue the oxygen of publicity, because a lot of people don’t really want that to happen, and it’s important that people are able to know what is going on.
I come to this specifically in relation to helping those people who have suffered adverse reactions to the vaccines. I’m not an expert on the vaccines themselves or anything like that, but all I do know is that very early on the government made it clear that if there were adverse reactions to the vaccines then the compensation scheme—or the payment scheme, as it’s [officially] called—for vaccine damage would come into operation.
So we have got the vaccine damage payment scheme based on the 1979 legislation in place, but as of today not a single payout has been made under that scheme [this began to change in June 2022]. I’m trying to campaign to get that scheme, first of all, under operation effectively, and also to ensure that the scheme is amended so that it is less arbitrary and is more user-friendly. Particularly, there’s an artificial cut-off of having to establish 60% disability, which is arbitrary, and it’s going to be quite difficult for people to know which side of the line they are on. But there is also the issue as to the maximum amount that you can recover under that scheme—currently £120,000—which hasn’t been updated for some fifteen years, and the Government seems to be refusing to update that sum. But obviously, even that sum is going to be far from adequate for people who have suffered a long-term damage to their lives, which results in them losing their employment and having carers and so on.
So I’m concentrating on that aspect of it: in a sense, the redress for those who did the right thing, followed the government advice, acted in the public interest and had the vaccines—and sometimes against their better judgement, but they did that. The other side of that equation was that the Government said that if those people found themselves to be in that very small minority who suffered adverse effects, then the Government would look after them. That’s the side of the equation which the Government needs to honour, and that’s what I’m trying to push for. So my bill is designed to try and achieve that. I’ve now got a meeting with the Minister fixed for the first day back after Easter, on 19 April, and I hope that we will be able to make some more progress then, but that’s where I’m coming from.
[I do so] recognising that, for most people, there hasn’t been a problem with the vaccines, but [there is] for a minority of people—which, obviously, when you have got as many people being vaccinated as have been vaccinated [for Covid-19], that minority comes into quite large numbers of people. And what are we doing to ensure that they receive some redress and some understanding?
The other point that I want to make is that many of the people are not interested in monetary compensation. What they really want is the medical profession, the NHS, to take their medical conditions seriously and to provide them with appropriate diagnostic services and also therapeutic services, because there seems to be a reluctance in certain areas of the health profession to recognise the condition of people who have suffered as a result of having the vaccines. Many of these people feel that they have been ignored, and that’s why when I started speaking out the House of Commons it received such a positive response from so many.
Brian Gerrish: My first question if I may, Sir Christopher, is: what triggered you to start down this path? Was there a particular thing that happened or was this something that you became interested in over a period of time?
Sir Christopher Chope: Well, I have for the last many years, at the beginning of each new session of Parliament, put forward a lot of Private Member’s Bills. So last June, when I was thinking about topics for Private Member’s Bills, I was alerted to some articles which were then developing, suggesting that there was a problem about the Vaccine Damage Scheme, and that’s really where I started. So I made one of them—my Bill concentrating on this issue—and I put that forward for debate in the first Friday, where Private Members’ Bills were going to be discussed, which was in September. I was lucky enough to have about twenty minutes to talk to the issue, and everything else has flown from that, really.
It started off because, as with most of my Private Member’s Bills, I try to address a niche where something needs to be done but where nothing is being done. That’s really where it comes from. It’s an accident, in the sense that I’ve obviously stumbled across an issue which is far bigger than I envisaged it was at the time.
Brian Gerrish: I’d just like to respond by saying that from our point of view, our interest as a media organisation came about because fairly early in the vaccination programme, we were contacted by people who described what they regarded as vaccine adverse reactions. Probably the most tragic one was a lady who contacted us to talk about her partner who had a [Covid] vaccination and within a few days he couldn’t walk. Within another day and a half, he was in the hospital, and ultimately—in a very short space of time—he was paralysed from the neck downwards.
We interviewed the lady. She was very distraught but very measured. What she said to us was that when her husband was admitted to the hospital ward, there were at least six or seven other men on the ward all exhibiting the same symptoms, and the consultant said to her that his opinion was that her husband was suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome as a result of the vaccination. The lady also said that when she heard other medical professionals talking in the ward, it was clear that they regarded the other six or seven men as also having this particular reaction to the [vaccination].
We reported that interview exactly as the lady gave it. She did it as an audio interview, and that was released onto YouTube, but subsequently YouTube removed that testimony—very personal, very tragic and exactly as the lady delivered it, but that material was taken down. Shortly afterwards, the Daily Mail carried the same story, but of course was allowed to publish it.
Now, there’s a number of issues there, but the first thing we’d like to say to you is that our interests in the whole subject of vaccines and vaccine damage came about through interaction with members of the public who were describing vaccine adverse reactions to us, including very serious ones like Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The other thing that happened—and this is where Mike Robinson, who is with me, has played such an important part—is that we began to look at the MHRA Yellow Card statistics where they’re collecting data on vaccines and adverse reactions. What became apparent very quickly was that the official data that was posted by the MHRA was—how would we describe it, Mike?
Mike Robinson: Well, the first thing was that it was inadequate, in my opinion, and they continue to this day to publish that data in the form of PDF documents, which aren’t easily searchable. So what we did was we took the decision to produce a website which would make that data searchable. We took the PDFs each week, processed them, and made that data available in a searchable way.
But the first reaction we got from people about that was, “Why are there more reactions than there are cases?” And, of course, part of the problem with the MHRA data is that it is not possible to associate groups of reactions with an individual case. So it isn’t possible, therefore, to identify patterns of reactions amongst people.
So it seems to me, Sir Christopher, that part of the problem here is that there is no acknowledgement or no willingness on the case of the MHRA to acknowledge that there’s a problem, or to provide any real analysis of that problem. Our first step surely must therefore be to require the MHRA to do a better job in that respect.
Sir Christopher Chope: Yes, absolutely. I used the privilege of being able to ask parliamentary questions about this, and have been really disappointed at the failure to respond to the most basic requests for information. The MHRA has assured me, in answer to questions, that they’ve carried out analyses of all these Yellow Cards. But when you ask, for example, what those analyses result in, which are the conditions that are the most frequent side effects from each of the vaccines, or which are the most serious side effects of each of the vaccines, or how many of the 2,000-plus people reported as having died shortly after a vaccine have been found to have died because of reasons that are unassociated with the vaccine, all those questions are unanswered. Even the question I’ve asked, “What is meant by the expression shortly—dying shortly after a vaccine? What is the maximum period that is covered by the expression shortly?”: I still haven’t had the answer to that.
Some of these requests for information go back more than two months, and in Parliament the answers are meant to come within five or six days of the question being asked. I’m the sort of person who, when I don’t get answers to questions, or when there seems to be an attempt to avoid facing up to these questions, then I get more persistent. And that’s what I’ve become: more and more persistent about this, and more and more worried that there is, in a sense, a reluctance on the part of the part of the authorities to allow people to realise that for a small minority these vaccines are bad news.
So, quite late on, I think we have had—in the most recent report from the MHRA—a recognition that for some people, the risks of the vaccines outweigh the benefits. That’s a recent recognition from the MHRA, which is quite useful. So I’ve also asked in Parliament: "In that case, can you let me know what is being done to alert people to that fact, and how people are able to, in a sense, judge their own risk factor in relation to those vaccines, and what information is being made available?" And again, I haven’t received any answers.
But if the MHRA is designed to try and improve patient safety, then they should be alerting people to the criteria which they should apply in considering whether or not, in their particular case, the risk of their taking the vaccine that is greater than any possible benefit that could flow from it. So again, the actions speak louder than words. The MHRA just doesn’t seem to be replying to this information.
Brian Gerrish: I completely agree with your analysis there. We’ve actually got a couple of letters which we can bring up on screen in a minute, which show the questions that we asked the MHRA. One of them I asked way back in May 2021, so we were fairly quick off the mark at challenging the MHRA. We’ll talk about those in a minute, but I wonder whether I could just bring in Debi Evans, because Debi has done a lot of work to open a dialogue with the MHRA. She’s shortly hoping to attend one of their Zoom board meetings.
Debi, would you like to respond to what Sir Christopher has just told us?
Debi Evans: Well, Sir Christopher, in everything that you say, you echo all of my concerns as well. Equally, I feel as though I’m being stonewalled by the MHRA. It’s not just the MHRA that I’ve contacted; it’s the PEAG group, the Pharmacovigilance Expert Advisory Group within the Commission for Human Medicines—that’s Professor Jamie Coleman. I’ve also written to the Chair of the Commission for Human Medicines, Sir Munir Pirmohamed, and I’ve asked him if there will be an investigation into these serious adverse reactions. Although, as you said, we need to be looking at the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme very seriously, the majority of people that we’re speaking to and that we’re seeing want exactly what you’ve just described, which is help. Help from NHS professionals, help from experts, advice, reassurance.
My biggest question is: when do health officials have a duty of care to warn the public about potential harms that have been detected through pharmacovigilance? Clearly, we are seeing many reports, many deaths, and we know from looking back that the Yellow Card, historically, is under-reported. So we’re probably only seeing 10% [reporting using] Yellow Cards. Many doctors don’t know about the Yellow Card scheme; many pharmacists don’t know about the Yellow Card scheme.
So the MHRA have a lot of questions to answer, but don’t seem to be forthcoming in either engaging with us or having a debate, or offering those people that have followed the government narrative, have taken the injection—they’re not offering them any support, and they’re not contacting them either. Once a Yellow Card is submitted, it kind of goes into a void, and I’ve since found out that the data from the Yellow Card seems to be going back to the manufacturers and that there is no communication, or very little communication, with the person that submitted the Yellow Card. So we’re really being stonewalled by pretty much everyone. They don’t want to discuss it.
Brian Gerrish: Debi, if I could just add to that, you had a very important communication from the Royal College of General Practitioners [shown on screen at 1 hour 7 minutes in the 18 May 2022 episode of UK Column News]. Tell us about what they had to say to you. Sir Christopher, you won’t be able to read this, but this is the letter dated 15 March 2022. Back to Debi Evans to answer her question. If we go to the second page, I will expand this on the screen so you might be able to see this. I’ll read it.
The letter is signed by a Dr Michael Mulholland, the RCGP Honorary Secretary, and the start of the second page says this:
I do not know how many Yellow Cards are submitted and am not aware of the standard number that should be submitted. The reason the GP cannot give you long term information on the side effects or the exact ingredients of a vaccine is because the information is not available to them.
Debi, back to you.
Debi Evans: I was extremely shocked that no doctor would be able to inform anybody of either the potential side effects or the ingredients of the vaccine. My son is a chef, and if I was going into a restaurant and I was being offered food, something like a "prawn cocktail à la PEG", I would want to know what the PEG was. We all want to know what we’re putting inside our bodies, and we would expect the chef to be able tell us the ingredients and to reassure us that it was safe.
However, when I asked my GP or I ask the doctor, quite clearly they don’t know the ingredients of the vaccine. So they can’t possibly inform me how safe this is. So I’m quite shocked that doctors don’t know what they’re actually injecting, because once injected, you can’t un-inject.
Brian Gerrish: Sir Christopher, I don’t know whether you’d like to respond there; whether there’s something that’s been said that’s new to you. But I will say, I was quite stunned when Debi shared the letter from the Royal College with us, because to me, the fact that a doctor was administering something of which they had no idea of the side effects meant that they couldn’t give a patient an informed choice, which is what the NHS says that everybody should have in deciding on medication or a medical intervention.
You should have an informed choice: what are the benefits and what are the risks? It appears that risks have simply been pushed to one side at the moment, and this is now interfacing with your initiative because, of course, for people to make a [vaccine damage payment] claim, they’ve got to be able to prove that the damage that’s occurred was as a result of the vaccine. So we seem to have a black hole in this subject.
Sir Christopher Chope: That’s absolutely right, and I understand that there may be some coroners, who are looking into this in the context of inquests, asking these sorts of questions. What was actually in the vaccine that caused this person to have a pulmonary embolism or whatever it happened to be? I think there’s a lot more to come out about this, and [about] the fact that apparently the vaccine manufacturers are under no obligation to disclose what’s in there.
I think that Debi’s point about comparison about this and information about food allergies is telling. That’s another cause for concern. When it comes to people being able to establish their claim under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme, we will have to see where the evidence comes from, because the presumption at the moment is that if it’s [judged] on the balance of probabilities—[if] there is no other reasonable explanation for the condition that the person is suffering from following the vaccine—then the presumption is that the vaccine must be held responsible. But getting to that situation, when a lot of GPs seem to have almost been in denial that this could have come about due to the vaccine, is going to be difficult for many people, and that’s why the sharing of information through this medium and others is so important.
One person I was talking to yesterday said that her brother-in-law now realises that when he suffered an adverse reaction, it was related to the vaccine. But he didn’t know about that, and that was about six months ago, and he’s still suffering in a bad way. So she’s now trying to ensure he gets his case together so that he could make a claim.
Nothing was helped by the fact that during the lockdown, there were very few autopsies carried out on people who had suffered unexplained deaths and so on. So that’s added to the problems in understanding and gaining knowledge and information about all of this.
I’ve also asked questions to the MHRA about what they are doing to feed back to the person who puts in the report what the outcome is. The answer was they don’t do that at all, as a matter of policy: no explanation as to why they don’t do that. And as I said earlier, all their talk about analysing these results, [but] they’re not prepared to give any more information as to what sort of analysis is carried out, how long it takes and what happens to the results.
This is the first I have heard that the [Yellow Card] results only go back to the vaccine manufacturers. We don’t even know what modifications are being made to these vaccines as a result of the information which the MHRA has. That in itself would be quite useful information—but we haven’t got it. All we’ve got now is that the MHRA does admit that some of the conditions—the vein thrombosis, for example—are more likely than not to be due to the vaccine. I’ve asked for the evidence in support of that finding of likelihood, and again, I haven’t had an answer. We have got a real problem here, when we pride ourselves on open and transparent government and [yet] it seems to be quite the reverse.
Mike Robinson: If you’re getting acknowledgements, then you’re doing better than we are, because there seems to be a very clear unwillingness to acknowledge any connection. So how do people actually get evidence of damage? The MHRA are saying a temporal connection is not applicable, and that they will refuse to acknowledge a time-based connection.
The other thing they seem to have said from the beginning is that we would expect to see in the general population X number of a particular medical event taking place and, therefore, we can’t say that there’s a problem unless we see more than X number of events of a particular medical condition taking place. But that doesn’t help the individual who has had a particular reaction and can’t necessarily prove for themselves, because they’re not qualified to prove for themselves what was the cause of that problem.
So my question is: What can people do to encourage the MHRA to at least acknowledge the problem and actually provide some information about what the mechanism will be in order to identify what the actual cause of a particular reaction may have been?
Sir Christopher Chope: Well, my short answer to that is that people are going have to try and get their Members of Parliament engaged in this, because at the moment an insufficient number of MPs are alert to these issues and are doing anything about it. The way our democracy works, if only a few MPs are interested in a subject, then the Establishment can try to ignore them. I think if people listening to this want answers to questions from the MHRA, or whoever, then the best way of trying to get that is by engaging their Members of Parliament, because obviously the MHRA does have to answer—through the Department of Health—questions in Parliament, but it does its damndest, I think, to avoid giving anything other than the minimum amount of information.
Mike Robinson: So, would you have advice, then, for people about what the best way to approach their Members of Parliament on this issue would be?
Sir Christopher Chope: You find out who your MP is and send them an e-mail asking them to look into this particular issue for you. They may send that e-mail off to the Department of Health and get some standard response, but then you’ve got to persist. Some MPs are still doing constituency surgery, so you can go and raise these issues with them. That’s one way of doing it.
All I can say is that is I’m trying my best to get as much information on all of this as we can. I think we may be getting some help in due course from the coroners' courts, because there are now an increasing number of inquests into people who have died as a result of these vaccines. Coroners are very good at challenging the authorities and trying to get to the bottom of why something’s gone wrong in a medical circumstance. So I have got some hope of that.
This is an answer I got in January from the MHRA. It says:
The MHRA assesses all Yellow Card reports of deaths, and all Yellow Card reports are continually reviewed to detect possible new side effects that may require regulatory action and to differentiate these from events that would have happened regardless of the vaccine or medicine being administered, for instance, due to underlying or undiagnosed illness.
Well, that’s absolutely right, but they don’t apply that principle when they’re looking at the issue of how many people have died with Covid, within 28 days of having Covid: nobody looks at that issue. But when I got that answer, I said, “Well, if you are looking into these things to try to differentiate between things that would [and that would not] have happened regardless of the vaccine, can you tell me how many of these deaths would have happened regardless of the vaccine?” They haven’t answered that question yet. It’s two months overdue, but it’s been indicated to me that they don’t have that data. Well, if they don’t have that data, what’s the purpose of all this? Why are they doing all this analysis? Anyway, I‘m going to persist in trying to get to the bottom of it.
Brian Gerrish: My response to that is we’ve had exactly the same sort of answer that you have had. In my original question, which I just mentioned in May 2021, I decided to be a little bit more direct with them. If I can just read out what I actually asked them, I sent it to the Head of Due Diligence and I asked this:
What due diligence action or actions have you taken, and indeed is MHRA taking, to fully investigate the 757,564 Covid-19 vaccine adverse reactions and 1,102 deaths logged thus far, so as to warn and fully protect the public from further future harm from known minor, serious and fatal Covid-19 vaccine adverse reactions of the type of, but not limited to, those recorded to date by the MHRA?
I tried to put a very professional question to them [on that occasion] on the basis that they had an obligation to carry out due diligence on the whole matter of the vaccines. I got a response equivalent to the one that you had, which I would say—I think the best description is it was opaque at best, but they didn’t answer the question.
Subsequently, we’ve also asked them whether they have carried out a quantitative risk assessment of the vaccines. That question, to my mind, has clearly caused them some problems, because, of course, in any professional project—be it building a bridge or designing an aircraft—at the end of the day, you’re going to be required to carry out a quantitative risk assessment to prove that your creation is safe. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the MHRA whether they also carried such out a quantitative risk assessment, but they do not want to answer that question.
If I can just ask Debi to come back in with us, I think Debi very astutely realised that there was also a black hole around the question of what was safe. What does it mean to say that vaccines are "safe", Debi?
Debi Evans: Yes, as far as I’m aware, the British Pharmaceutical Society and the APBI say that you should never refer to any pharmaceutical product or anything, pretty much, as 100% safe. It should never be defined as safe, and yet the MHRA CEO, Dame June Raine, has said that the vaccines are "very safe". I think it’s also worth highlighting that June Raine, in a recent meeting, did say that the MHRA was no longer a watchdog, and that it had become an "enabler"—which was concerning to me, because they say that patients’ safety is their primary concern.
We even have an MHRA Chief Safety Officer, Dr Alison Cave, whom we’ve also written to with questions, [yet] clearly, the questions we are asking aren’t being answered—despite the fact that the MHRA remains the safety regulator. We don’t see any safety data, and I’m extremely concerned that for pregnant women, for example, there is no long-term safety data and yet we are encouraging pregnant women and very young children, who aren’t at risk of Covid-19, we’re recommending this [vaccine] on no data.
It’s also worth mentioning that one of the reports of the serious adverse reactions was anencephalic baby being born, as an AstraZeneca side effect, so that was obviously a neural tube defect. I was very concerned about these entries on the weekly summary reports, so I wrote to the MHRA specifically about this—and I was told that that data was "incorrect".
That leads me to ask how much of the data that we’re seeing, which isn’t very much, is correct. Because the MHRA don’t do what VAERS, the American serious adverse reactions database, do, where they give a little more information. They give the patient's age, the circumstances of death, what drugs have been administered—and yet the MHRA don’t give any of that data at all. And the data is taken down from the MHRA website every week and replaced with new, so you can’t go back and look at it on the archives.
Sir Christopher Chope: I think there’s a very good point. Some organisations have actually been able to put all this together, and it is without any assistance from the MHRA. They have managed to build up an archive of how things have changed over the weeks.
There’s a real problem here. When we hear about your experiences and try to get information, and the experiences I’ve had, there seems to be a lot of commonality between them, I’m afraid.
Brian Gerrish: Indeed, you are asking questions, we’re asking questions and we’re not getting responses, but we are also aware that there are many medical professionals who are now starting to ask questions. We did an interview a couple of months ago with a young GP who had resigned as a result of his concerns over the vaccination policy. There are many other medical professionals who are desperately trying to speak out, but surprisingly, they don’t seem to be able get any mainstream media traction at all. They’ve approached newspapers, they’ve approached the BBC—and they describe being stonewalled.
This seems to be of immense concern if it’s just a member of the public, or even if it’s us [UK Column] asking the question: well, okay, we might expect occasionally to get a rebuff. But if you are a qualified medical professional and you are asking serious questions based on your own professional knowledge and on your professional experience, it seems wrong that the wider media at the moment is almost shying away from those questions.
I’ll add to that that some time ago, we were fortunate enough to do an interview with a very senior French professional, Professor Christian Perronne. He originally was responsible for the whole vaccination policy in France, not for Covid-19, but in formative years. He was prepared to say on camera to us that he also had immense concerns about not only the vaccines but the vaccine administration policy. Interestingly, he was also saying, as a Frenchman, that it was virtually impossible to get mainstream media to engage.
Are we seeing something that you’ve encountered: that there seems to be a reluctance for media to engage on what we would regard as this very important public health safety question?
Sir Christopher Chope: Oh, absolutely. The mainstream television channels, but even most of the mainstream newspapers, don’t want to cover this issue at all. I think the best explanation I had from one was that they felt that as soon as they raised this spectre, that there was something less than perfect about the vaccines, then a whole host of people came out of the woodwork and there was a sort of what can be critically described as the "anti-vax conspiracy theorists run rampant".
One newspaper journalist said to me that his editor was reluctant to open that up and that’s why they were not keen to take some of the material that I was offering them. I think that is a pretty lame excuse myself. I almost suspect that there are people who want to cover this up; it suits them to conflate those of us that want to have answers to these questions with those who believe that this is a global conspiracy to destroy mankind. That, I think, comes into a way that is the thinking of organisations like YouTube. People who put up extracts on YouTube of what I said in the House of Commons have had those taken down by YouTube and had threats that their accounts are going to be closed if they try to reinstate them! I’ve appealed on their behalf to YouTube, and I’m still in discussions with them about it. But this is all very sinister stuff.
Then, when you look at this alongside the contents of the Online Safety Bill, which the House of Commons will be discussing on Tuesday 19 April, the second reading, you can see how dangerous it could be for free speech and freedom of expression if some unaccountable organisation is able to decide what is and what is not "in the public interest". If we hadn’t got the proliferation of news outlets such as UK Column, we wouldn’t be able to even discuss these issues. I think there is a really serious problem here, and that’s why we’ve got to persist until we’re able to get these answers.
Mike Robinson: The thing that concerns me the most about the Online Safety Bill, as it’s progressing through Parliament, is this definition of what’s "harmful but still legal" is being left to secondary legislation—so you as MPs do not get the opportunity to shape that definition. I would just be interested to know how concerned you are about that.
Sir Christopher Chope: I’m very concerned. It’s not just about the shaping of the definition, but whatever definition is come up with, who’s going to interpret it? And who’s going to hold those interpretations to account? You can just envisage the burgeoning bureaucracy that delays, and all the rest of it, over these issues. I’ve had my issues with those. There’s an organisation that purports to be called FullFact, but it seem to be quite the reverse, because they are happy to be spoonfed any information from the Government without challenging it.
For example, all the people that died within 28 days of having Covid died with Covid, and no questions [were] asked about that, as to whether some of them would have died anyway from any underlying causes. But as soon as I start suggesting that there might be something wrong with vaccines affecting some of the minority of people, then all hell breaks loose. Then you look and see that that organisation is basically run by subscriptions from Google and other large outfits, and yet purports to be the Witchfinder General, really. I think that we are entering into very sinister territory. So I share very much your concerns because in the end, as they say about elections, it is not about who votes but it’s a matter of who counts the votes.
Brian Gerrish: Yes. Debi, do you have one last question or something else you’d like to say?
Debi Evans: The vaccine, and some of these antivirals and monoclonal antibodies [used as standard Covid treatments] such as Remdesivir and Molnupiravir, are all Black Triangle medications, and as such, it means that they need to be under more intense scrutiny than normal generic drugs. So the fact that they’re Black Triangle is really, really important.
The other thing is, my questions to June Raine are:
How much of this do we need to carry on with?
How many people need to die?
How many serious adverse reactions do there need to be to stop the rollout?
The WHO clearly says that if there are many cases of similar side effects, then rollouts should be stopped. It doesn’t appear to me that the WHO guidelines are being followed, but I am concerned that the United Kingdom, and I think it's 194 countries, have signed into the WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty, which effectively gives away our sovereignty so that the WHO, whenever they choose, can call a natural disaster, or a pandemic, or an epidemic, or some kind of disaster, that would mean all 194 nations have to act in lockstep and maybe have to go into lockdowns and mandate vaccines, compulsory vaccines, that may not have gone through the stringent tests because of the 100 Days Mission [announced by CEPI], [under which]—when[ever] the WHO declares a pandemic—a vaccine or a therapeutic will be made available within 100 days. So we’d be cutting out a lot of safety trials, going from five- to ten-year clinical trials down to 100 days, which is what the MHRA is now advocating.
So I just wondered what your thoughts would be on the fact the UK would be governed by the World Health Organisation and would have to follow their regulatory powers of supranational law.
Sir Christopher Chope: Well, frankly, this is something I haven’t applied my mind to at all. As somebody who believes in the sovereignty of Parliament and fought strenuously to get us out of the European Union for that very reason, [I abhor] the idea that we can be beholden to some organisation like the WHO, who can tell us what we can and can’t do. I’d understood that they could only give us advice, which we could or could not follow, depending on what our view was.
Some of these issues you’ve raised perhaps will come out in the Hallett Inquiry. I don’t know whether they will or not. But one aspect of the international side of it, which I think is interesting, is that the COVAX scheme—which, [as] you’ll know, is contributed to by the richer nations and enables vaccines to be given to people in [the] 50 poorest nations—covers an indemnity against vaccine damage, and that indemnity is paid for by the contributors to the COVAX scheme. And proving the vaccine damage under the COVAX scheme is easier and the remuneration is greater than it is for our scheme, and so it’s a more generous scheme than ours—and yet we are paying for that through our COVAX contributions, but our own schemes are inferior. So there’s an issue there which needs to be addressed, and again I’ve tried to ask questions about that, but I haven’t really got anywhere.
Essentially, I come back to the point this is about vaccine confidence. I believe that there is an important role for vaccines in public health and all the rest of it, but if we’re going to be able to promote vaccines, we need to be able to do so with absolute confidence that they’re safe—[meaning that] if something goes wrong, then the people who’ve suffered get looked after. That’s why quite a lot of jurisdictions, internationally, are making it easier to make claims if you’ve suffered loss or damage as a result of the vaccine, in the absence of any other explanation. It’s [becoming] easier to make claims [in other countries] because they see that‘s a way of helping to build vaccine confidence.
What I’m worried about is that the head-in-the-sand attitude of the Government and the MHRA is actually going to end up being counterproductive; that it’s going to cause people to be unnecessarily nervous in circumstances about whether or not to have a vaccine. So there’s some really important public policy issues at stake here. Can I just finally say, thank you very much indeed for having this conversation.
Brian Gerrish: Just a last thing for you. Is there something specific you’d like to say to the audience? How would you like our audience to assist what you are doing? You’ve said about writing to their MPs. Is there anything else the audience can do to help your initiative?
Sir Christopher Chope: I just think getting more publicity for this issue and bringing it out into the open. I think that some people have been expecting that, now that everyone has been vaccinated who wanted to be vaccinated, it would be easier for the Government to relax on its assertion that all the vaccines at all material times were absolutely safe. But now we’re moving to a situation where the Government seems to be encouraging people to have a second booster or fourth jab.
So one wonders whether the Government is going to stop the propaganda machine in support of vaccines and start looking at the issue more rationally, as to whether or not there are any downsides to these vaccines which should be brought to the attention of the people before they’re given. I live in hope that that’s where we’re going to get to, but we need the active support of the MHRA if we’re going to do that, because they are the body that’s charged with the responsibility.
Brian Gerrish: Sir Christopher, thank you very much for joining us this morning; it’s been really fascinating and a very important subject. I do hope you’ll join us again.