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Sir Desmond Swayne admits controversial claims he made about Covid deaths were 'incorrect'

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NEW Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne has backtracked on his controversial claim that deaths from road accidents were outpacing those caused by Covid.

Back in December, when restrictions were re-introduced following the emergence of the Omicron variant, Sir Desmond told Parliament that the roads were more dangerous to people than the disease.

"Notwithstanding the carnage on our roads, which is certainly killing more people than Covid at the moment, some of us still decide to drive," he said, arguing that how we tackle the disease "comes down to a matter of opinion – a matter of our prejudice".

Sir Desmond told Parliament the roads were more dangerous to people than Covid
Sir Desmond told Parliament the roads were more dangerous to people than Covid

But speaking in the Commons this week, he withdrew the comment and accepted what he said was "incorrect".

"On 14th December, in the debate on the Covid regulations, I said that more people were dying in the carnage on the roads than of Covid-19," he stated.

"I have now seen the statistics and that was incorrect. I thought it appropriate to correct the record."

Government figures from 2020 revealed a total of 1,460 road deaths in Great Britain, while the Office for National Statistics said that in the year ending 4th December 2020, there were 69,771 mentions of Covid on death certificates in England and Wales alone.

Sir Desmond had rebelled against all the extra measures discussed, including the requirement to wear face masks and the necessity for NHS and social care staff to be vaccinated by April 2022.

Christchurch MP Sir Chris Chope did the same, and Julian Lewis voted for the vaccination of NHS staff but against mandatory Covid passes for entry to night clubs and other large venues.

Despite the Tory rebellions, however, the Conservative government won all three votes comfortably.

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