Labour MP Margaret Hodge slams 'fearmongering' trolls
Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge slams ‘fearmongering’ trolls who sent her ‘disgusting’ emails comparing vaccine passports to the Holocaust
- Dame Margaret Hodge spoke out against trolls sending her ‘disgusting’ emails
- The emails drew similarities between vaccine passports and the Holocaust
- MP accused trolls of ‘fearmongering’ and important to have ‘grown-up’ debate
Dame Margaret Hodge has slammed the trolls who sent her emails comparing vaccine passports with the Holocaust and urged them to ‘stop and think’.
The Labour MP, who is Jewish, accused those who sought to draw similarities between plans for ‘Covid Status Certification’ and victims of Nazi persecution of ‘fearmongering’ and said it was important to have a ‘grown-up debate’.
The veteran former frontbencher said one of the emails she had received had stated: ‘Hitler had his own version of vaccine passports too,’ and was accompanied by a picture of a bare forearm with a number tattooed.
The MP for Barking, who had relatives killed in the Holocaust, told MailOnline: ‘These emails are truly disgusting.
‘Anyone circulating this sort of message should be ashamed of themselves. It is nothing more than blatant scaremongering.
Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge slammed the trolls who sent her emails comparing vaccine passports with the Holocaust
‘We should be able to have a grown-up debate about whether ”vaccine passports” are a useful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and how they would work in practice. This toxic material makes that almost impossible.
‘The sooner the Government set out detailed plans about a possible ”vaccine passport” the better. That way a grown-up discussion can get underway.’
Dame Margaret, who is a frequent recipient of anti-Semitic hate mail, added: ‘For somebody like me, who never forgets that I’ve had relatives killed in the Holocaust, that image is just disgusting and horrible.
‘It is fearmongering.’
The Labour MP later took to Twitter to write: ‘Those sending emails comparing ‘vaccine passports’ to the number tattooed onto the arms of those sent to Nazi death camps. Just stop and think.’
This week some 40 Tory MPs made clear they were against ‘Covid Status Certification’ and warned that they were ‘intrusive, costly and unnecessary’ and would create a ‘two-tier Britain’.
Tory MPs demanded that Boris Johnson put any passport plan to a vote in the House of Commons but the Prime Minister sidestepped the request at a Downing Street press conference last night.
He said: ‘First we need to work out what exactly the proposal might be, but certainly if there is something to put to Parliament I am certain we will do that.’
Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper – who now chairs the 70-strong Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs – warned the scheme would create a ‘two-tier Britain’ and said it was vital that MPs had the final say.
Meanwhile a senior Labour source told The Guardian that Sir Keir and other prominent Labour figures ‘are all minded to vote against’ the documents amid fears over how the scheme could work and its cost.
Dame Margaret, who is a frequent recipient of anti-Semitic hate mail, urged those sending her the emails to ‘stop and think’
A health worker administers a dose of the the coronavirus vaccine at a clinic set up inside the Derby Arena
And former minister Steve Baker described the plan as ‘authoritarian and illogical’.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Government had yet to convince the country about the proposal.
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘Well, the problem is the Government actually hasn’t produced the piece of legislation which highlights the details of how this is going to work.
‘Last night when Boris Johnson was asked he couldn’t explain his own policy.
‘So at the moment we are unconvinced but it is up to ministers to convince the country that they have a plan in place and what they are going to do.
‘When we see the details of their legislation we will study it carefully.’
In 2018, Dame Margaret was among three Labour MPs who received ‘vulgar, obscene and threatening’ abuse through phone calls and emails from Nicholas Nelson.
Along with Dame Margaret, Nelson also abused then Labour MPs Lord John Mann and Dame Louise Ellman – who he accused of ‘smearing’ then party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Nelson, of North Walsham in Norfolk, had previously given a suspended sentence in December 2018 for trolling then Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth.
But he was spared prison once more last year after he admitted three counts of sending communications of an offensive nature.
The offences took place between July and September 2018.
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