Labour MP Chris Bryant tells Dan Wootton he is ‘dangerous nutcase’ over herd immunity comments

TalkRadio host forced to cut short bad-tempered interview: ‘Get rid of this man’

Adam Forrest
Tuesday 20 October 2020 09:55 BST
Labour MP calls talkRADIO host 'dangerous nutcase' over herd immunity

A Labour MP was kicked off TalkRadio after he called host Dan Wootton “a complete and utter nutcase” for suggesting herd immunity was a potential solution to the coronavirus crisis.

Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda, expressed his outrage after Mr Wootton began attacking lockdown restrictions and claimed “science has forever used herd immunity” to deal with viruses.

The host also advocated The Great Barrington Declaration – a document signed by anti-lockdown scientists, some of whom also back the idea of allowing the disease to run hot in the hope a high enough proportion of a population achieves immunity.

Mr Byrant said: “You’re a nutcase – you’re a complete and utter nutcase. And you’re dangerous as well.”

Telling his team to cut the interview short, the host replied: “Chris, do you know what, you can go off now – get rid of this man.”

Earlier in the bad-tempered exchange, Mr Wootton claimed he could not understand the merits of “circuit-breaker” lockdowns like the one announced on Monday by the Welsh government.

Mr Byrant said: “You don’t seem very bright. It’s fairly simple … I don’t think you are genuinely trying to understand – you’re just shouting.”

The Labour backbencher also suggested the scientists behind The Great Barrington Declaration, mentioned favourably by the interviewer, were a bunch of “crackpots”.

The pair continued the argument on Twitter, with Mr Byrant calling the host “a dangerous conspiracy theorist” – and Mr Wootton accusing the MP of being “the dangerous one”.

Mr Wootton, a columnist for The Sun who has spent most of his career on showbiz gossip, also retweeted an anti-lockdown message by Mario Falcone from The Only Way is Essex: “Time to wake up everyone.”

Emails released last month revealed the government’s advisers did discuss herd immunity when dealing with an initial outbreak earlier this year. But both advisers and ministers have always insisted the controversial concept was never official policy or strategy.

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