A Conservative MP has said “everyone is entitled to their views” after it emerged her husband said COVID-19 was a mental illness.
Sandy McFadzean, the husband of Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, tweeted in July: “COVID-19 is most likely an outbreak of mental illness,” the Eastern Daily Press reported.
McFadzean attended the march against COVID-19 restrictions last week, which attracted around 10,000 people.
He retweeted a poster for the Unite for Freedom march calling for an end to track and trace and social distancing measures.
Smith, who is minister of state for the constitution, has changed her Twitter name to include “Stay Alert, Save Lives” and has supported the government’s lockdown measures.
McFadzean denied the existence of COVID-19, in a Tweet where he said: “Government need to be clear. Either there is a killer virus on the loose or there isn't. (Spoiler alert: There isn't).”
His Twitter account has since been deleted after Smith was contacted by the Eastern Daily Press who first reported the story.
After the story was reported, Smith said on Twitter: “My husband is a private citizen, everyone is entitled to their views and to debate, I take a different view to him, my views are on the record and I’ll carry on working for my constituents.”
Such a shame @edp & @TomSBristow didn’t include the response I gave them in good faith yesterday: My husband is a private citizen.Everyone is entitled to their views & to debate.I take a different view to his. My views are on the record & I’ll carry on working for my constituents— Chloe Smith #stayalertsavelives (@NorwichChloe) September 3, 2020
Neighbouring Labour MP Clive Lewis said: “There’s absolutely no way I’d hold anyone responsible for the views of their partner.
“However, if my partner was spouting forth COVID conspiracy, anti-vaccination nonsense, it is very likely the subject might come up for discussion at some point over tea.”
Natasha Harpley, Norwich Labour vice president and a local councillor, tweeted: “Of course everyone is entitled to their views and I would never hold anyone responsible for the opinions of their partner, but this goes beyond being Team Blur or Team Oasis.
“She is a public representative & living with a conspiracy theorist who flouts government guidelines.”
...if he is ignoring public health guidelines & attending large scale, non distanced demos & then returning to the family home, he is putting her health at risk & likewise the health of people they both come into contact with. That's a compromising position for an MP to be in.— Natasha Harpley (@TashHarpley) September 3, 2020
She added: “If he is ignoring public health guidelines and attending large scale, non distanced demonstrations and then returning to the family home, he is putting her health at risk and likewise the health of people they both come into contact with.
“That's a compromising position for an MP to be in.”
McFadzean, who is a vice president at the bank Credit Suisse, has been married to Smith since 2013.
The Unite for Freedom march saw thousands attend a rally in central London on Saturday demanding an end to lockdown measures.
Many protesters disregarded guidelines around wearing masks and adhering to social distancing.
Speakers included David Icke, who believes coronavirus is a conspiracy theory linked to 5G and Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers, who was fined £10,000 for attending.
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