A HAMPSHIRE MP has had a Covid vaccination - just weeks after he was accused of promoting the anti-vax movement.

Sir Desmond Swayne, Tory MP for New Forest West, has posted a picture on Twitter of him receiving the jab while dressed in jogging bottoms and a T-shirt.

He wrote: "I've just had my jab: make sure you can get yours, so that we can all get back to normal life."

It comes after Sir Desmond, 64, was accused of promoting vaccine sceptics by telling people to "persist" with their campaign against lockdown restrictions.

Later he said he was unaware of the movement's position on jabs.

Michael Gove, then Minister for the Cabinet Office, told him to retract his remarks and apologise, describing his Tory colleague as "completely out of order".

Sir Desmond is reported to have made the comments to Save Our Rights UK, which argues vaccines are "being rushed through safety testing". But the MP has described himself as being "evangelical" in his support for the vaccination programme.

Speaking in January he told the Daily Echo: "What on earth am I being asked to apologise for? I have said nothing I have not said on record in the House of Commons.

“I was asked by 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.”

In November Sir Desmond told Save Our Rights that the coronavirus risk seemed to be “manageable”, adding that Covid-related figures appeared to have been manipulated.

Two months later he was interviewed by Del Bigtree, American leader of an anti-vaccination group, about his views on the lockdown.

Sir Desmond said: "I am absolutely in favour of the vaccination programme and evangelical in my support of vaccinations. I have not knowingly associated with anti-vaxxers.”

Today Sir Desmond told the Daily Echo: "I have never promoted vaccine sceptics."