Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock wants new legislation to force social media companies to remove content promoting false information about vaccines.

He said the government is working with internet companies to identify misleading material on jabs, including Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR).

Artificial intelligence programmes could root out bad science.

MMR vaccine uptake rates are declining in many countries.

The reason is not clear. Rates dipped in the 1990s following publication of a report linking MMR to autism, but partly recovered after that research was discredited and disproved.

However, the volume of anti-vaccine sentiment on social media has been swelling in recent years, sparking concern that it is having a negative impact.

Mr Hancock told the BBC’s Today programme: “We are looking at legislating for the

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