Tories under growing pressure over MP who backed Covid deniers


No sanctions for Desmond Swayne, who falsely suggested NHS data was manipulated

The Conservative chief whip has spoken to MP Sir Desmond Swayne but stopped short of further disciplinary action after the backbencher refused to back down from baseless claims that NHS capacity figures had been manipulated to exaggerate the scale of the pandemic.

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Swayne, a former minister, refused to apologise on Thursday after the emergence of a November interview in which he urged a fringe coronavirus deniers’ group, which has suggested the pandemic could be a hoax, to “persist” in protesting against lockdown.

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