The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid has branded anti-vaxxers protesting outside school gates in England as “idiots” and called for exclusion zones to be put in place to stop protesters harassing parents and children. He said to Kay Burley at Sky News today that it was “heartbreaking” that teachers and children were being threatened.
“These people are doing so much damage,” he said.
With news that the children’s vaccine rollout was slow and the protests are causing a lower uptake than expected, many protests have occurred outside in several school gates with campaigners handing out literature to children and their parents. He also stated that they are spreading mis-information and vicious lies.
Mr Javid said there were several options to stop the protesters, including the introduction of exclusion zones around schools.
“It is becoming a growing problem as time goes by,” he said. “There are options, in terms of whether it’s an exclusion zone, or other potential action, I think it’s got to be done at a local level.”
Labour has called for councils to be able to use public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) to address harassment outside schools.
Sir Keir Starmer said: “It is sickening that anti-vax protesters are spreading dangerous misinformation to children in protests outside of schools.
“Labour believes the law around PSPOs urgently needs to be updated so that local authorities can rapidly create exclusion zones for anti-vax protests outside of schools.”