Trevor Phillips has criticised a new BLM political party over criticisms the organisation has on the efficacy of vaccines
The founder of a new political party inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement has been caught peddling conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines – amid mounting evidence that ethnic minorities are failing to come forward for jabs.
Charles Gordon, the flamboyant businessman behind the Taking The Initiative Party, has been accused of risking the lives of black people by casting doubt on the safety of the injections.
Last night, Trevor Phillips, a former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, led criticism of Mr Gordon, saying: ‘Anybody who peddles this kind of nonsense is killing people. Frankly I would say to anybody from a minority community, protect yourself and your family, take the vaccine, and if these people come to your door just shut it in their faces.’
Mr Gordon told an online ‘Covid-19: No jab: no job’ event organised by his party earlier this month: ‘The question is do you definitely want to inject yourself with something that you’ve been categorically told the Government is taking no responsibility for? If you take that vaccine and die, it’s on you… There hasn’t been enough testing so I don’t think it’s fair to be trying to force people to take [the jab].’
Responding to anti-vaxx views expressed during the event, he added: ‘I do believe the comments made earlier that as far as everyone is concerned it’s a big cover-up. The person who spoke earlier said 4 million people have been injected but there have been no reports of adverse effects, but other countries are reporting 10 per cent adverse effects. Those are questions that need to be answered.’
He later added: ‘They [the Government] don’t give a s*** about the people at the bottom.’
At the same online event, a senior party member described the vaccine as ‘pointless’ and claimed Madagascar ‘already has the herbal cure’ for the virus, without providing any evidence.
The party last week also shared tips on its official Twitter feed on ‘how to decline a vaccine’.
Their claims come amid growing fears about the low take-up of vaccines among minority groups. According to NHS data, just four per cent of those with black-African and Pakistani ethnicity have had a jab compared to nine per cent of whites. Another survey found only 57 per cent of black, Asian and other ethnic minorities would agree to have the vaccine, compared to 79 per cent of white people.
Celebrities including Adil Ray, Meera Syal and Romesh Ranganathan have been recruited to counter anti-vaxx propaganda. Ray, the star of BBC comedy Citizen Khan, said: ‘We are now fighting another pandemic – misinformation. Communities who are ignored are preyed upon and voices that endanger lives are amplified.’
Charles Gordon, left, launched the TTIP last year with a wide-ranging manifesto
The TTIP is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement
A cross-party group of black MPs has also shared stories of loved ones who have died from the virus to encourage ethnic minorities to sign up for the injections.
The Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP) launched in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, with policies including the creation of a race offenders’ register, paying reparations to black people for historic slavery, and fining the police if they wrongly stop and search people. The party intends to field candidates in this year’s local elections.
Mr Gordon, whose sister Nicola Zingwari is registered as the leader of TTIP, arrived at his party’s London launch in November in a Rolls-Royce with personalised numberplate. He was joined by Sasha Johnson, the self-styled ‘Black Panther of Oxford’.
Mr Gordon, who last night said he would not take the vaccine for at least a year, added: ‘I do not hold anti-vaccine views and the Taking The Initiative Party is not anti-vaccine. I and the party are, however, pro-choice. The comments that you have quoted were informed by the ‘no jab, no job’ stance taken by certain employers.’
Other senior figures in the TTIP include Michael Page, a martial arts fighter who uses the stage name Venom, and Minister Hakeem, a representative of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the controversial Nation Of Islam movement.