Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith’s vaccination sparks controversy

A photo of Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith receiving the Covid vaccination while volunteering at Retford Hospital on Friday has sparked controversy.

By Ben McVay
Sunday, 24th January 2021, 8:52 am
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2021, 8:55 am

On Friday the MP wrote on Facebook ‘as a volunteer I was also asked to have a vaccine’ beside a photo of himself being given the jab.

He added: “Some have suggested that politicians should test them out first - although they are usually the same people who then say politicians get preferential treatment, so I suppose it’s difficult to win!”

Brendan wrote that he was asked to have the vaccine after spending the afternoon volunteering as the vaccine was rolled-out at the hospital.

Brendan was asked to have the vaccine after spending the afternoon volunteering

He said: “Many people have asked me about the safety of vaccines and I have always said that my family and I would all have no problem having one.

“We all had Covid-19 back in March.”

Bassetlaw Council leader Simon Greaves, adding that Brendan was a ‘40yr old man’, wrote on Twitter: “The man was vaccinated despite thousands of local people on the Govt’s priority list still waiting anxiously and patiently.”

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While fellow Bassetlaw councillor Alan Rhodes condemned the move, writing: “Shameful queue jumping by the Bassetlaw Conservative MP, putting himself before his elderly and vulnerable constituents.

“This is something that Bassetlaw voters should not forget or forgive.”

However others on Twitter moved to defend the MP.

Nicky Wylie wrote: “We vaccinate volunteers and anyone we can when we have spare vaccines otherwise they would be thrown away.

“We phone up people to come in. We have got young supermarket workers off the checkouts to use them up. Don’t make this out to be unusual or queue jumping.

“We have lists to contact which we do. But you only have an exact amount of vaccines to give in one session.

“It’s impossible to get the numbers 100% because people don’t show up for appointments. It would be a sin to throw them away rather than vaccinate.”

Jean Davison wrote: “I would rather be vaccinated by a volunteer who has been vaccinated. We don't want people getting the virus because they went to a vaccination centre full of unvaccinated volunteers.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.