Anti-vax Covid conspiracy newspaper accused of spreading 'falsehoods' and 'deliberate misinformation'

A COVID conspiracy newspaper has been blasted for allegedly spreading "falsehoods and dangerous ideas" about the virus that has killed more than 129,000 Brits.

Anti-vax, self-styled ‘truth paper’ The Light has sparked fury after being posted through letter boxes or dumped at newsstands, garages and train stations across the country.

Its editor, Darren Smith – who is also known as Darren Nesbit – is a musician from Manchester who once appeared on ITV's This Morning alongside a baffled-looking Phillip Schofield claiming to have evidence the Earth is flat.

Virologists have criticised the paper’s anti-vaccine message as “scaremongering promulgated by the merchants of nonsense”.

In one article, it falsely claimed GPs are banking £12.58 per Covid injection dished out to Brits. 

The British Medical Association (BMA) told The Sun Online that suggestions the vaccine rollout is a money-making exercise for hero frontline workers are “deliberate misinformation”.


An NHS worker who watched her mum die after they both caught Covid said she was “speechless” at the virus being described as a “hoax”.

And comparisons made in the paper between the government’s Covid restrictions and the treatment of Jews under Nazi Germany were branded “odious and offensive”.

The Light is distributed by volunteers, with the paper having an 8,000-strong Facebook page.

The Sun Online found people from across the UK, including London, Devon, Manchester, Sussex, Cumbria, Kent and Wales, who had read the paper.

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Rory Francis, 60, was “appalled” after finding copies in a Londis store in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.

Mr Francis, a town councillor, told The Sun Online: “It is dangerous. Everyone who has looked at the situation realised Covid exists.

“In my view, producing and distributing material like this is an insult to dedicated doctors and nurses of the NHS who risked their own lives to help others during the pandemic, and also to the memory of all those who have lost their lives to Covid.”

One article falsely claims thousands of people will die from bacterial pneumonia caught from wearing masks, but many experts state that there is no real evidence for this.  

Another claimed that the US health protection agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “admits there is no Covid-19”, which a fact-checking website later claimed was false.

The Light carries numerous anti-vaccine claims, including one that jabs are "threatening humanity".

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam says Public Health England analysis shows vaccines have prevented 60,000 deaths and 22 million Covid infections in England.

The anti-vax paper is still spreading its propaganda despite being outed for its false information.

Dr Joe Grove, a virologist at the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation at University College London, criticised the paper's “pseudoscientific misinformation”.

He told The Sun Online: “Using a scientific vocabulary and quoting apparently esteemed experts these publications spread falsehoods, misleading statements and dangerous ideas.

“One recurrent theme is that the use of vaccines and/or public health interventions, like lockdowns, will lead to the evolution of ‘monster’ coronaviruses. 

“Thankfully, this is virological nonsense."

He added: "The 'Kent' [Alpha] variant arose before vaccination had commenced in this country whereas the Indian [Delta] variant has emerged in the context of low vaccination rates and relatively loose public health measures."

‘I would invite them to spend a day with me and see if they think it’s a hoax’

NHS manager Anabel Sharma, 49, from Whitwick, Leicestershire, watched her mum Maria Rico, 76, die of Covid in the bed next to her in hospital last November after they caught the virus.

Anabel, a mum-of-three who was left suffering long Covid and PTSD, told Sun Online: “I remember the doctors bringing my mum to see me.

"They told me that my mum was dying and she had signed a Do Not Resuscitate order.

“They moved my bed next to my mum’s bed. My sister was allowed to come onto the ward and we were with my mum when she passed away.

“I was asking them every day if I was going to die and they said they didn’t know as I wasn’t responding to the treatment.

"I still have the oxygen now. It has damaged one of the arteries in my heart.

"The Covid has damaged my liver, my lungs, my heart and my pancreas.”

She added: “I know a lot of people who work in the NHS who have been left with such mental trauma from being frontline workers.

“I feel very sad that someone even wants to exacerbate a problem that doesn’t need exacerbating by spreading information like that that is simply not true. 

“I would invite them to come and spend a day with me and see what I have to deal with each day.

"Talk to my children who nearly lost me and lost their grandmother, and speak to some of my friends that are frontline workers who have been holding people’s hands in their last moments because they haven’t had anyone else that has been able to come and see them.

“Maybe they should spend some time with those people and see if they still think it’s a hoax.”

Ian Jones, Professor of Virology at the University of Reading, dismissed another article claiming mRNA vaccines, like Pfizer or Moderna, alter cells’ DNA as “gobbledygook”.

Prof Jones told The Sun Online: "The principle of vaccination has been with us since Jenner [Edward, the creator of the world's first vaccine, for smallpox] and has saved countless millions of lives. 

"Along with sanitation, nutrition and antibiotics it has given us the long lives we enjoy today and to state otherwise is pure scaremongering promulgated by the merchants of nonsense."

Meanwhile, another article attacked hard-working medics who are administering vaccines.

The article said: "The average GP has 2,000 to 3,000 patients, and so if they give 2,000 double-jabs that’s £50,000 in each doctor’s bank account”.


But doctors’ trade union the British Medical Association stressed that GP practice groups – not individual GPs -receive £12.58 per dose to cover costs, such as additional staff and hours.

The BMA spokesman told The Sun Online: “GPs and their teams are working flat out to protect patients from this dreadful illness, and deliberate misinformation that aims to undermine these efforts and public confidence in vaccines and the vaccination campaign needs challenging at all levels.” 

Comparisons between the government’s Covid lockdown and restrictions and the Nazi regime were criticised by the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Marie van der Zyl told The Sun Online: “The comparisons between the treatment of Jews and the current lockdown regulations are as odious as they are offensive. 

Misinformation ‘reduces people’s vaccine intentions’

STEPHAN Lewandowsky, a professor of cognitive science at the University of Bristol who specialises in misinformation and conspiracy theories, told Sun Online: "Conspiracy theorists cluster together.

"Pandemics have always given rise to conspiracy theories since time immemorial.

“People need scapegoats and wherever people feel they’ve lost control over their lives that’s when they resort to conspiracy theories.

“The data shows exposure to misinformation reduces people’s vaccine intentions significantly.

“Social media allows people to connect that are holding totally fringe opinions that very few other people hold.”

“The Covid lockdown rules are in place to save lives from a deadly virus.

“The imprisonment of Jews in concentration camps and death camps was with a view to mass murder. 

“People making these awful and false equivalences demonstrate their lack of basic intelligence with regards to history, science and empathy.”

As well as editing and writing for The Light, Nesbit, 50, has run a clothing website, which sells anti-vaccine T-shirts.

In a presentation at a flat earth conference, he referred to the Paris Bataclan terrorist attack, which killed 90 people, as a "false flag" anda "staged event”.

His dad, Ellis Nesbit, told The Sun Online: "He is anti everything, anti-government. He also thinks the world is flat.

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"He seems to think the world is run by a dozen people and it's all a conspiracy.

"For somebody who is very bright he’s not the full shilling."

The Light and Nesbit had not responded to questions at the time of publication, but replied with criticism of The Sun.

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