- The Cabinet Office has admitted that the report was passed on to 64 British officials
Officials have admitted Julia Hartley-Brewer was unlawfully described in government documents as a “known vaccine skeptic”.
The Cabinet Office was forced to apologize to the talkTV presenter after it emerged one of her social media posts had been included in a report on “vaccine hesitancy”.
Ms Hartley-Brewer had commented: “No.” No no no!!!’ to an article about the joint letter from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education to parents urging them to vaccinate their children.
Despite having spoken publicly about taking the vaccine herself and regularly discussing its benefits on her show, her name was included in a dossier compiled by Whitehall’s Rapid Response Unit (RRU).
Last night Ms Hartley-Brewer said: “I am shocked that the UK Government has spent time during the pandemic surveillance period censoring and denigrating a journalist who was simply trying to do her job by asking the right questions and challenged the prevailing orthodoxy.”
Despite having spoken publicly about taking the vaccine herself and regularly discussing its benefits, Ms Hartley-Brewer’s name was included in the dossier
“I was not a “known vaccine skeptic,” as my on-air and online comments clearly demonstrate.
“A government unit designed to combat foreign governments spreading lies online was deployed against British journalists and MPs who raised legitimate concerns about Covid policy.” And now we have evidence that the same unit is actually responsible for the lies was responsible for me.
“I am particularly concerned that the British government passed this false information about me to a US government counter-terrorism unit set up to combat Russian, Chinese and Iranian propaganda.” This is very sinister. ‘
The Cabinet Office has admitted that the report was passed on to 64 British officials as well as counterpart officials in the US.
Further transparency requests revealed that Ms Hartley-Brewer’s opposition to vaccine passports had been logged and shared by government departments.
In a written apology to the presenter, officials admitted that the reference to her as a vaccine skeptic was “inaccurate and not impartial.”
The error was discovered by civil rights group Big Brother Watch during an investigation into the government’s anti-disinformation activities, particularly the controversial RRU.
The RRU was founded in 2020 to combat “false and misleading narratives” surrounding the coronavirus and disbanded two years later.
The Cabinet Office has admitted that the report was passed on to 64 British officials as well as counterpart officials in the US
The RRU was founded in 2020 to combat “false and misleading narratives” around the coronavirus and disbanded two years later (file photo)
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “It is outrageous that UK government counter-disinformation operatives monitored British journalists and spread damaging misinformation about them across the corridors of power, not just in the UK but even among counter-terrorism officials .” in the USA.
“It is absurd that taxpayers are funding this multi-million dollar anti-dissent project under the guise of ‘fighting disinformation’, but it is also extremely appalling that so many journalists, politicians and ordinary citizens are being treated like enemies within just because they criticize the controversial government.” Guidelines.
“The government’s secret counter-disinformation unit should be suspended immediately and Parliament should launch an investigation into its deeply disturbing activities.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “This matter is the subject of ongoing legal correspondence and the Cabinet Office is unable to comment further at this time.”