Tice Brands Gove a Hypocrite After Minister Claimed Unvaccinated Are ‘Selfish’

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: Minister for the Cabinet Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, leaves Downing Street on September 8, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has called Michael Gove a hypocrite for calling people who decide not to be vaccinated “selfish”.

On Tuesday, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said: “Ultimately, if you can be vaccinated and you refuse to, that is a selfish act. You’re putting other people’s health and lives at risk, you should get vaccinated.”

“I was just appalled by his description of people being ‘selfish’ if they’d made their personal choice not to have the jab,” said Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK, formerly known as The Brexit Party.

Mr Tice told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer on Wednesday: “The way to achieve the maximum vaccination is to encourage people with more information, not to blackmail them and coerce them.”

He then criticised “the selfishness of a man who joined his own private test pilot scheme so that he personally didn’t have to self-isolate after he had enjoyed the Champions League final. I find the hypocrisy of him and other government ministers quite extraordinary.”

Last month, Mr Gove had been alerted by the NHS test and trace app that he had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus after attending a football game in Portugal. Rather than isolating for ten days as advised, the minister opted instead to be tested every day, allegedly because he was engaged in a pilot scheme for workplaces.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were likewise involved in the pilot scheme and avoided self-isolation when pinged by the app. But both senior ministers quickly u-turned on their decision after mounting criticism and in the face of hundreds of thousands of Britons being alerted by the NHS app and advised to quarantine, resulting in staff shortages across the country in what is being referred to as the ‘Pindemic’.

In another striking example of Mr Gove’s “hypocrisy”, the minister is overseeing a review on domestic vaccine passports and also said yesterday that “some form of certification” was “the right way to go”.

“I believe that the case for certification overall is a strong one. It makes sure that we can have greater confidence that big events are not likely to be superspreader events,” Mr Gove.

Last year, Mr Gove had flatly denied that the government was working on a vaccine passport, telling Sky News in December: “No, that’s not being planned.”

“I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports and I don’t know anyone else in government [who is],” he had added.

In an effort to coerce young people to be vaccinated, Prime Minister Johnson announced plans to make vaccine passports the condition of entry to nightclubs and is even reportedly considering making them a condition for attending university in person.

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