Boris Johnson has offered MPs a ‘sunset clause’ that would end the government’s controversial new system of coronavirus levels early in a bid to quell a growing rebellion on its own benches.
Furious Conservative MPs had lined up to say they would vote against plans to place 99% of the country in both tiers with the most severe restrictions.
The system was to last until the end of March.
However, in a significant descent, the PM has now written to all MPs to tell them that if they back the measure this week, a new sunset clause will mean the restrictions will only last until early this month. February.
At that point, MPs would have another vote on the bearings, which would determine whether or not they stay in place until the end of March.
The prime minister has also pledged to publish advice on what should change in each local area to take it down one level.
A grim warning that every hospital in England is at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases had previously failed to quell the rebellion.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove had urged Conservative MPs to “take responsibility for the tough decisions” to stem the spread of the virus.
He warned that he “did not respect constituency boundaries” and that hardship was “sadly necessary to protect all of us, wherever we live” in an article for The temperature.
But dozens of Tory MPs still had to refuse to support the new system, in a major challenge to Mr Johnson’s authority.
Many are angry that much of England is placed in the first two levels which face the most stringent coronavirus restrictions, including for households mixing indoors.
The chairman of the powerful 1922 backbench committee of Tory MPs, Sir Graham Brady, was among those who voiced his opposition to the new levels, calling for the public to be ‘treated like adults’ and in the hands of their people. own health decisions.
Other Conservative MPs had indicated they would rebel if an assessment due for release next week was not convincing.
Some have called for the system to be more targeted. They complain that areas with minimal infection rates have been unfairly lumped together with others where cases are exorbitant.
But ministers warn cases can quickly explode in areas that attract large numbers of visitors.
As the government’s woes escalated, the Labor Party remained tight-lipped on how it might vote on the measures on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, former Tory Health Secretary Lord Lansley has said Mr Johnson was ‘wrong’ to ease coronavirus restrictions on Christmas.
He admitted that saying it made him “feel like the cranky,” but in an interview with Times Radio he said, “We need to protect the elderly. And it’s really hard, I think, to suddenly say Christmas, well, let’s not do that. Let the people mix. Why would we do this?
“We are maybe only a few weeks, well, maybe months, but not several months from when we might be able to immunize the most vulnerable and the oldest populations?
“Why put them at risk during this time? Why allow transmission to accelerate, even for a short time? ”