Laurence Fox was told ‘I sometimes wonder why you exist’ by a doctor during a heated debate over Covid vaccines on his GB News show.
The Inspector Lewis actor was joined by senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter’s medical school, Dr Bharat Pankhania, to discuss a critical report of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) roll out of the vaccines.
Fox, 44, said during his show on Thursday: ‘The report is brutal and if it is, as many would suspect, part of a limited hangout, it certainly lets a lot hang out. Going further than before in shredding the veil of secrecy and highlighting the reckless idiocy of our besieged health regulator.
‘It concludes that the MHRA has failed in its duty to protect the public from harm… it failed to react promptly to widespread reports of adversary reactions to the so-called vaccines.’
He then started to question the Astra-Zeneca vaccine by offering examples of people reportedly suffering blood clots after getting the jabs.
Dr Bharat Pankhania, senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter’s medical school, accused Laurence Fox of having his ‘own agenda’ debating Covid-19 vaccines
He said: ‘Yet again us conspiracy factualists are proved right for the 100th bleeping time.
‘It will take many years for society to come to terms with the evil meted out on us as quacks, or crooks, depending on which side of the c**k-up conspiracy argument you fall on…
‘People are still reeling and hindsight is not as sharp as some day it will surely become.’
Dr Pankhania, who has more than 25 years experience in communicable disease control and infectious disease management, replied when asked about his thoughts: ‘I sometimes wonder why you exist, to be honest with you.
‘A lot of these things that you spew out, just send things that are worrisome to people, are not verified, not factual.
‘You just have your own agenda, that’s what I think. You are just spewing out your biased views. That’s how I feel about you.’
Shocked by the doctor’s comments, Fox replied: ‘I wasn’t asking you what you felt about me, I was asking you what you felt about the discussion.’
Pankhania then said: ‘I feel about you, your statements and the panellists that you brought together.
‘I was brought up on this programme right now, told I’m going to have a one-to-one conversation with you, and suddenly I find myself in a panel discussion.’
He also claimed the entire interview was an ‘ambush’ as he hadn’t been told they were going to discuss the report Fox referenced.
Dr Pankhania has been teaching for over 12 years at the Imperial University Masters in Public Health and was appointed as their Honorary Senior Lecturer.
He has also served as a consultant to communicable disease control at Public Health England for 13 years.
Asked what he thought about the MHRA, the senior clinical lecturer added: ‘It is staffed by very competent, very able people who have served the nation well.
‘They have done their job in being independent and they do a great job in protecting the health and wellbeing of the nation… the MHRA is absolutely fit for purpose.’
Fox pictured arriving in support of the right-wing group Turning Point UK in March earlier this year
Discussing the safety of Covid-19 vaccines, he concluded: ‘All in all on the balance of good versus harm – the good outweighs the harm by a large, large margin.’
The interview shortly went viral after it aired and it received mixed opinions from social media users.
One person tweeted: ‘Expert slapping the wet fish of reality around the smug, entitled chops of Laurence Fox.’
However another user wrote: ‘I think smug would be a very accurate description of this doctor, not Fox.’
Another also added: ‘Strange response, I see a rather rude and arrogant doctor responding to Laurence Fox’s perfectly straightforward and polite questions.’