Jacob Rees-Mogg calls anti-vaxxers 'nutters' as he defends government communications spending

Jacob Rees Mogg defended the need to spend large amounts of money communicating the necessity and safety of vaccines. (PA)

Jacob Rees-Mogg has labelled anti-vaxxers "nutters" as he defended the spending on communications as necessary to "reassure people" about the safety of vaccines.

Speaking at business questions the Leader of the House of Commons was responding to criticism aimed at Kate Bingham, the head of the government's coronavirus vaccine taskforce.

The shadow leader of the Commons Valerie Vaz called for a public inquiry into reports that Bingham allocated £670,000 to be spent on public relations.

Labour has previously said the government has "serious questions" to answer over the allegation.

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Conservative (Tory) candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg canvasses in a solid Labour of Fife Central seat during the General Election. The son of William Rees-Mogg, this was his first attempt to win a seat at Westminster but he was soundly beaten by the eventual winner Henry McLeish. | Location: Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative candidate for Central Fife, Scotland, 25th January 1997. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg reclines on his seat in the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019. With Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson weakened by a major defeat in Parliament, defiant lawmakers were moving Wednesday to bar him from pursuing a "no-deal" departure from the European Union.(Parliament TV via AP)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg smiles as he walks through Peers' Lobby ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will formally open a new session of Britain's Parliament on Thursday, with a speech giving the first concrete details of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to do with his commanding House of Commons majority. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks with guests in the chamber ahead of the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. (Aaron Chown, Pool via AP)
A heavy police presence escorts Leader of Britain's House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg from parliament in London, following a Brexit debate Saturday Oct. 19, 2019. Many thousands of protesters gathered in London to demonstrate on both sides of the Brexit argument. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg laughs whilst talking with someone before the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in the Norman Porch at the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening of Parliament ceremony in London, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, addresses the media at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed that Britain will leave the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal governing future relations with the bloc. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Leader of Britain's government the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England, Sunday Sept. 29, 2019. The Conservative Party is committed to Britain's Brexit split from the European Union leaving on the scheduled date of Oct. 31.(Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
British lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg poses for a photograph prior to speaking at a meeting for eurosceptic think tank The Bruges group, in London, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Picture date: Tuesday October 13, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Previously unissued photo dated 14/10/19 of Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow chatting with Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg at a drinks reception hosted in Speaker's house after this year's the Queen's Speech. The Speaker has served ten years and intends to stand down before the next election.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and his son Peter Theodore Alpheges are escorted by police officers in Parliament Square, London, during an anti-Brexit, Let Us Be Heard rally, after it was announced that the Letwin amendment, which seeks to avoid a no-deal Brexit on October 31, has been accepted.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg awaits the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II at the Sovereign's entrance ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after a Cabinet meeting.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg awaits the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II at the Sovereign's entrance ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking outside the House of Parliament in London after he handed in his letter of no-confidence to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, saying Theresa May???s Brexit deal ???has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the Prime Minister???.
(Left to right) Conservative MP James Cleverly, Labour MP Barry Gardiner, host Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and Green MP Caroline Lucas prepare to take part in the Channel 4 Brexit debate in Stratford, east London.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 8: Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg delivers a petition from Daily Express readers which calls for the government to scrap the 0.7% GDP commitment to foreign aid budget. February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
David Davis MP (left) and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP attend the launch of the Institute of Economic Affairs latest Brexit research paper, in central London.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg during his LBC radio phone-in programme, hosted by Nick Ferrari at Global Radio studios, central London.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks about Brexit at a Leave Means Leave event at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Conservative (Tory) candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg canvasses support on a housing estate in Groban, Leven, part of the Labour-held constituency of Central Fife during the 1997 UK General Election campaign. The son of acclaimed journalist and writer William Rees-Mogg, at the age of 28, this was his first attempt to win a seat at Westminster however he was soundly beaten by the eventual winner Henry McLeish MP. Jacob Rees-Mogg was elected as Member of Parliament for North East Somerset in 2010. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Conservative (Tory) candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg canvasses support on a housing estate in Groban, Leven, part of the Labour-held constituency of Central Fife during the 1997 UK General Election campaign. The son of acclaimed journalist and writer William Rees-Mogg, at the age of 28, this was his first attempt to win a seat at Westminster however he was soundly beaten by the eventual winner Henry McLeish MP. Jacob Rees-Mogg was elected as Member of Parliament for North East Somerset in 2010. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jacob Rees- Mogg, aged 12. Picture shows a young Jacob Rees- Mogg, one of Britian's youngest shareholders. He is pictured at home, making a lone public stand against the giant General Electric Company. Picture taken 11th September 1981. (Photo Julian Brown/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
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In response to Vaz's question, Rees-Mogg said: "There are a few nutters around, Mr Speaker – I'm sure you've never met them – who are anti-vaxxers, and they go around spreading rumour and causing concern to people.

"And we need to put out the true information to reassure people and that is a reasonable and a proper thing to do.

"And I think the attacks on Kate Bingham are discreditable and unpleasant."

READ MORE: NHS Test and Trace sees highest cases ever after nearly 150,000 weekly positive tests

Rees-Mogg also praised Bingam saying she "deserves credit, plaudits and praise, paeans of praise" for all the work she has done without drawing a salary.

He said: "She has brought her energy, her enterprise, to ensure that we are one of the best placed countries to have supplies of the vaccine when it comes through."

Earlier Vaz said she would be interested to know the role of the special communications avdisors which she noted were based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which already has 100 comms staff.

Vaz continued: "But if it is something about a vaccine, I'd rather (deputy chief medical officer) Dr (Jonathan) Van-Tam tell me about it than a public relations so-called expert."

Rolling out vaccines nationwide will be key to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring life gets back to normal.

It has been estimated over 70% of the population will need to be immunised in order to get rid of the virus all together.

Getting to that level will not be easy, on top of the logistical challenges presented by the need to vaccinate so many people there is also a large amount of skepticism held by the population over whether the vaccine will be safe.

A study by King's College London and Ipsos MORI in August found only 53% of the population of the UK would be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine when it became available.

The study found vaccine skepticism was lowest amongst the elderly which is fortunate as they will be the first group to be vaccinated.

England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street press conference on Monday: "Vaccine misinformation has been out there ever since the first vaccines were made and it is exactly that, misinformation, and I don't propose to give it any further airtime."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the anti-vax argument "holds no water".

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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