MP Chloe must speak up now over husband’s Covid nonsense

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith failed to strongly condemn husband Sandy McFadzean's views about covona

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith failed to strongly condemn husband Sandy McFadzean's views about covonavirus, health workers and the prime minister. Photo: Bob Hobbs - Credit: Archant

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is not her husband’s keeper, and can’t be held responsible for him.

But neither can she expect to fully distance herself from what Sandy McFadzean says and does.

Ms Smith is not just any member of the public: she is an MP, elected by the people of Norwich North.

That role brings with it wider accountability and closer scrutiny - including, on occasion, of a close family member.

Mr McFadzean invited such scrutiny with his frankly bizarre and - if acted upon - potentially deadly views about coronavirus.

READ MORE: Conservative MP’s husband calls coronavirus a ‘mental illness’ as he joins anti-vaxx march

In Norfolk, hundreds have died from coronavirus, and countless people have been bereaved or are suffering longer-term symptoms. How many of these people does Mr McFadzean believe have a “mental illness”?

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His views are offensive, and one would expect his wife, a Conservative minister, to strongly condemn them.

Instead, Ms Smith tiptoed into the debate, saying: “My husband’s a private citizen. Everyone’s entitled to their own view, and to debate. I take a different view.”

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The Norwich North MP cannot be expected to silence her husband, who is “entitled to his view”. But she should be expected to drown out the nonsense with logic and science.

Right now, many thousands of her constituents are making daily sacrifices to stop the spread of coronavirus. At the same time, their MP’s husband is effectively ridiculing their efforts.

It may create tension on the home front, but it is imperative that Ms Smith speaks out strongly, to restore confidence and avoid undermining the life-and-death message.

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