A “SEETHING” MP said he does not know what he is being asked to apologise for, after being told he was “completely out of order” to urge anti-vaccination campaigners to keep fighting coronavirus restrictions.

Senior minister Michael Gove said MP for New Forest West, Sir Desmond Swayne, was “wrong” to say Covid figures were manipulated.

Mr Gove said: “Sir Desmond is wrong. I work with Sir Desmond, I have great affection for him but I'm afraid here he is completely out of order."

He added: "I would hope that he issues a full and complete retraction and apology for what he said - it's unacceptable."

In response, Sir Desmond told the Daily Echo: “What on earth am I being asked to apologise for?

“I have said nothing that I have not said on record in the House of Commons.

“I was asked by the group Save Our Rights, who approached me because of my opposition to the lockdown.

“That was exclusively about my views on the lockdowns and I would have referred to the way data is presented in exactly the same way as I have in the House of Commons.

“I don’t believe we touched on vaccinations because anyone who goes on my website knows I am in support.”

Sir Desmond told Save Our Rights in November 2020 that the coronavirus risk seemed to be “manageable”, adding “particularly in the way that figures appear to have been manipulated”.

In January this year, Sir Desmond was then interviewed by Del Bigtree, American leader of an anti-vaccination group, about his views on the lockdown.

The MP said “there were aspects of this which I am certain come down social control, like the wearing of masks”.

“I have made all these complaints in the House of Commons,” Sir Desmond continued.

“I don’t question the motives of ministers, I am confident they do all these things to save lives.

“We have had that debate. I think, in government, it would be much better if people were much more transparent.

“All hell seems to have let loose. Nevertheless, I have said all this in the House of Commons, I am absolutely in favour of the vaccination programme and evangelical in my support of vaccinations.

“I have not knowingly associated with anti-vaxxers.”