The emails that reveal MPs collaborating with conspiracy theorists & anti-vaxxers
#HARTleaks emails and internal chats provide irrefutable evidence
Officially established in October 2020, the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) is the covid sceptic wing of the UK’s Conservative Party, operating as a party within a party like the influential European Research Group (ERG), it also contains many of the same key individuals such as Mark Harper and Steve Baker, who likes to take personal credit for the removal of Theresa May as Prime Minister.
Members and advisers of the CRG have many links to the radical right in the US, in particular organisations within the Koch Network including those with a track record of climate change denial. The same methods used for climate change denial of utilising internal party political pressure combined with astroturfing groups and client journalism has been applied to undermining public health and trust in institutions.
The #HARTleaks reveal how the CRG MP’s have coordinated with HART. CRG assisted HART in establishing media links, while HART provides the CRG weekly briefing documents proving them with alternative facts and studies produced by the disinformation network to argue against measures and child vaccination. CRG MPs have quoted HART papers in parliament, asked questions on their behalf in Parliament, William Wragg even tried to bring a vaccine damages bill to parliament on their behalf.
John Bye’s thread on the #HARTleaks provides the details of MP’s working with the HART group and interlinked organisations such as Us For Them and Collateral Global was written in October 2021. The first reporting of the leaked emails and internal chats occurred in July 2021, the Byline Times has reported extensively on the HARTleaks and the BBC produced an article on the anti-vax Safer to Wait campaign organised by members of the disinformation network, but large sections of the media have wilfully ignored the #HARTleaks. The reason for this is that a sizeable section of the UK media are implicated in the leaks, in particular the Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Spectator, GB News and TalkRadio.
Several attempts to get articles covering the #HARTleaks into the Guardian and Observer ran into difficulties with elements of the editorial team.
What is also concerning is the lack of interest from opposition MP’s and various left wing media outlets. The Counter Disinformation Project received no replies when we have previously written to a number of frontbench Labour MP’s and MP’s of other opposition parties providing email exchanges between Conservative MPs and antivaxxers and conspiracy theorists working with elements of the far-right.
In hopes of reaching a wider audience, here is John Bye's (@_johnbye on Twitter) meticulous reporting of how HART established links with the CRG and how they have coordinated with the media to mainstream disinformation, undermine public health and embolden militant conspiracy theorists linked to the far-right.
John Bye’s Thread
A number of politicians, including the CRG and senior backbenchers like @SirGrahamBrady, have been working with anti-vax group HART.
One member of the House of Lords even joined the group, and offered them media training to help them get their message across!
At the beginning, HART's strategy (set by founder Narice Bernard and political fixer Bernie de Haldevang) was to work as a "scientific partner" to the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee and Covid Recovery Group, providing them with evidence to use to sway government policy.
Andrew Rosindell (Con, Romford) provided an early opening in mid January, before HART officially launched.
Bernie claimed to be "quite pally" with Rosindell, who was "completely on side".
He then uses Rosindell as a gateway to Liam Fox and the CRG's Mark Harper and Steve Baker.
Narice and Bernie send Rosindell a letter to pass on to CRG chair Harper and his deputy Baker, telling them HART could support their efforts to "encourage the government to review its Covid measures", by providing "evidence-based second opinions" to "examine policy decisions".
Rosindell obligingly forwards the email to his colleagues, describing Bernie de Haldevang as a "good friend".
He describes HART as "independent experts" and suggests they "might be useful in providing scientific weight to the CRG".
They're actually a bunch of cranks.
The CRG lap it up. A week later, Jemma Moran describes a "really good chat with Ed Barker", who's "keen to set up a call with Joel to look at the data with Steve Baker".
That's Joel Smalley, purveyor of dodgy graphs, who claims vaccines cause surges in deaths all over the world!
The CRG discuss HART "creating a media story" they can back, and also advise HART to start writing weekly bulletins and sending them to all MPs. Which they do.
The first few bulletins are mostly drafted by secret HART member Michael Yeadon, even AFTER he's exposed as a racist!
Meanwhile HART's Ellen Townsend and Anthony Brookes had joined Gupta, Heneghan and Dingwall at a meeting with Graham Brady, Andrew Bridgen and other MPs.
Ellen provides attendees with "bullet points for MPs to take away" based on HART material, without revealing their source.
HART had by this point already met @SirGrahamBrady, chairman of the Conservative backbenchers' 1922 Committee, with a video call on January 21st.
And so, by the end of January, Narice claims HART are "engaged with all the government's biggest critics at the highest level".
HART member Jonathan Engler stays in regular contact with Sir Graham Brady (his local MP) by phone and text
Brady is often mentioned in leaked HART chat logs. Members see him as "ideologically aligned to our thinking", a way to reach other MPs, or even the Prime Minister!
This proves useful in March, when HART releases a booklet including Joel Smalley's suggestion that the surge in deaths last winter was caused by vaccination!
Brady is quick out of the gates to defend HART against the backlash, describing it as "a pleasure".
Jonathan Engler reports that Graham Brady "doesn't seem at all put out" by the furore over HART's suggestion that covid vaccines may have killed thousands of Brits over the winter.
After a phone call, Engler assures HART that Brady "remains totally with us".
It's perhaps no surprise Brady was happy to back HART even after they openly attacked the vaccine programme.
After all, he was recently caught meeting a bunch of conspiracy nuts who want to put government Ministers on trial for crimes against humanity!
The Brady connection also comes in handy when William Wragg and Christopher Chope ask questions in Parliament about post-vaccination deaths.
The MPs are asking about vaccine effectiveness, not adverse reactions, but HART think they can "point them in the right direction". 🙄
Members suggest that Engler talks to Brady, who promptly offers to forward HART's questions to Wragg and Chope.
HART think if they innocently ask for data to prove the vaccines are safe, it will prove they aren't.
The email is drafted by anti-vax homeopath Anna Rayner.
A few months later Christopher Chope sponsors the "Vaccine Damage Bill", and is now making rather wild claims in Parliament about the extent of vaccine related deaths.
Is this just coincidence, or did HART's letter to Chope via Sir Graham Brady hit its mark? 🤔
HART also take advantage of the access their friends at UsForThem already had with MPs.
Ros Jones, a member of both groups, gave UsForThem founder Molly Kingsley HART's "lockdown harms" doc to use in a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith, working with HART members to hone it for UfT.
Elsewhere Ros Jones gets UsForThem to "point their MP contacts in our direction", although both groups are keen to "keep any links below the radar" after UfT attracted negative attention from the Guardian and @BylineTimes.
She says Esther McVey and Brady are "signed up" to UfT.
Friendly journalists also help HART connect with politicians.
Having setup a meeting with MPs back in January, Lucy Johnston of the Sunday Express later passes HART's infamous March bulletin to Lord Sumption, who gives it a positive write up .. in the Telegraph.
But while HART member Paul Yowell follows up with Lord Sumption, behind closed doors other members aren't as keen on him.
They suggest Sumption is selfish, irritable, "pig ignorant", and says things just to "maintain his aura of superior intellectual judgment". 😳
When Lord Sumption seems to rollover on vaccine passports, members suggest he's just doing it so he can go to his holiday home in France, that he's been "got to", or even that he "has had the vaccine and is not himself anymore"!
But it's another Lord's involvement with HART that raises concerns.
Lord Moonie actually joined HART!
He changes accounts in May, so his early posts are sadly lost, but he can be seen tagged by other members as <@U01MCCPPM5M>.
Easily identifiable from his intro on February 12:
From replies to Lord Moonie's lost messages, it's pretty clear he offered HART media training!
So a group of cranks, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers seemingly got advice from a member of the House of Lords on better ways to present their covid sceptic message to the world.
Unsurprisingly HART also have links to the Brexit Party / Reform UK.
Derek Winton and Greig Mair, who both stood for Reform UK, were invited into HART by Christine Padgham of Inform Scotland.
Edmund Fordham, HART's resident ivermectin pusher, is a former Brexit Party candidate.
Edmund Fordham is still working with Reform UK leader @TiceRichard, although he thinks he's making a "political mistake" by backing the NHS and Astra-Zeneca.
Meanwhile Ros Jones says Tice joined an "excellent meeting on ivermectin" with her, Fordham and Tess Lawrie of BIRD.
Jonathan Engler has also been in touch with Tice, and says he asked him if he could put them in contact with Tim Martin. To talk about distributing HART anti-vax leaflets in Wetherspoons pubs!
Thankfully there's no evidence that this idea went any further.
On the other end of the political spectrum, HART founder Narice Bernard went on to run the Liberal Spring campaign, an attempt to take over the Liberal Democrats and turn them into an anti-lockdown party.
Narice involved his friend Michael Yeadon in the campaign too.
Further out on the fringe, HART's Mark Boullé stood for covid quack party Freedom Alliance in Oxford, with Ros Jones offering to help his campaign.
Ros also knows two people from UsForThem who stood for the party, while Gary Sidley asked members to help a candidate in Edinburgh.
Another politician targeted by HART was Tory peer Lord Attlee, grandson of Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee.
Michael Yeadon had "cultivated" him in 2020, and says Attlee even tabled questions about PCR testing in the House of Lords under Yeadon’s "guidance"! 😬
These seem to be the questions, from November 30th to December 14th 2020. Just as the Alpha variant was taking hold.
By the time his last question was tabled, covid cases were surging. The vast majority weren't false positives. Thousands of people died.
Yeadon told HART founder Narice Bernard in January 2021 that Lord Attlee "should be considered a potential ally in Parliament".
But a month later, Yeadon admitted that Attlee "no longer replies to me" and suggested someone else should contact him.
So what went wrong?
Well, apparently Lord Attlee had belatedly realised the surge in covid deaths in the winter of 2020-21 showed Yeadon’s "false positive pseudo-epidemic" narrative was wrong.
Yeadon, still clinging to this belief even at the covid peak in January 2021, calls it an "odd comment"!
End of thread
The Counter Disinformation Project recommends reading John Bye’s other linked threads on the #HARTleaks
Covid Recovery APPG
In September 2021 sceptic MPs formed the Covid Recovery All Party Parliamentary Group funded by Collateral Global whose members include the Great Barrington Declaration’s authors. The APPG has been a platform for disinformation with a particular focus on trying to halt the offer of vaccination to younger age groups.
Leaked documents reveals Jay Bhattacharya, member of Collateral Global and author of the GBD was a guest speaker at a recent meeting of the secretive and anti-democratic Council for National Policy which has played a key role in covid disinformation, climate change denial and the overturning of Roe vs Wade.
The UK’s covid inquiry is about to get underway, its essential that it examining the role of coordinated disinformation,