Liberal Democrat candidate in Hartlepool by-election attacks vaccine passports idea
A Parliamentary by-election candidate has attacked any prospect of vaccine passports as both “anti-freedom” and “anti-business”.
Andy Hagon, who will contest the Hartlepool by-election for the Liberal Democrats, fears any introduction of such measures as lockdown continues to ease would create a “two-tier system” between people who have been jabbed and others who have not.
Among the suggestions is that people would have to present health certificates to gain access to certain entertainment venues later in the year.
Mr Hagon, who was born and raised in Hartlepool, said: "We should call these for what they are: Covid ID cards. We campaigned against ID cards before and we'll do the same now."
He added that reopening our society relies on getting the pandemic under control with effective testing, tracing and proper support for those self-isolating, combined with the successful roll out of the vaccine.
Mr Hagon continued: "The Liberal Democrats don’t believe that vaccine passports or certificates are an effective way of reopening our economy.
"We are concerned that this would disproportionately impact those that cannot or have not received their jab, and would lead to a two-tier system between those with the vaccine and those without it."
Mr Hagon, who stood for the Liberal Democrats in Hartlepool at the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, is one of 16 candidates vying to become the town’s next MP at the poll on Thursday, May 6.
The by-election follows the unexpected resignation of Labour MP Mike Hill in March.
First elected at the 2017 General Election, Mr Hill triumphed in 2019 with a reduced 3,595 majority.