Tory MP under fire for likening Covid health passes to ‘Nazi Germany’

Marcus Fysh has been criticised by a fellow Conservative rebel and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Sam Blewett
Monday 13 December 2021 17:02
Marcus Fysh was under fire over the remarks (Chris Radburn/PA)
Marcus Fysh was under fire over the remarks (Chris Radburn/PA)

Tory MP Marcus Fysh has been criticised for comparing the coronavirus health passes being introduced to limit the spread of Omicron to atrocities in Nazi Germany

The Board of Deputies of British Jews called his remarks “completely unacceptable” and he was criticised by a fellow Conservative rebel who plans to oppose mandatory use of NHS Covid passes to large venues in a Commons vote on Tuesday.

Mr Fysh argued that the passes, which can be acquired by being fully vaccinated or receiving a negative lateral flow result, would be “segregating society based on an unacceptable thing”.

“We are not a ‘papers please’ society. This is not Nazi Germany,” the MP who has who has represented Yeovil since 2015 told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It’s the thin end of an authoritarian wedge and that’s why we will resist it.”

Despite his opposition to being a “papers please” society, Mr Fysh voted in September for the Government’s Elections Bill which will introduce photographic identification for voting.

Those plans have been widely-criticised as installing a barrier to the polls, particularly for the disabled and elderly, as well as people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl said: “It is completely unacceptable to compare the proposed vaccine passports with Nazi Germany.

“We urge people, particularly those in positions of authority, to avoid these highly inappropriate comparisons.”

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford, who plans to vote against the Government alongside Mr Fysh, was also critical.

“Whilst I will be in the same lobby as Marcus, these types of comments are untrue, unhelpful, and truly deeply offensive to the Jewish community,” he said.

“Covid restrictions should never be compared to the darkest period in human history.”

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge who is Jewish, added: “When will we ever learn? Let’s hope 2022 is the year when we stop making flippant comparisons to the Nazis.”

Adam Wagner, a barrister who examines Covid regulations, urged MPs not to “inadvertently trivialise” the debate with “ridiculous comparisons”.

“It’s certainly not Nazi Germany, where there was state-sponsored mass murder, ghettos, torture, death camps and the literal dehumanisation and genocide of entire ethnic and other groups,” he added.

Boris Johnson is facing the threat of the biggest backbench revolt of his premiership when MPs vote on the use of what critics term “vaccine passports” on Tuesday.

Around 75 Tories have indicated they could rebel over their use, which with Labour support are expected to be introduced on Wednesday for indoor venues containing more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in