MPs vote to extend Covid-19 rules as Boris Johnson faces embarrassing revolt – –

MPs vote to extend Covid-19 rules as Boris Johnson faces embarrassing revolt – –

MPs voted to extend Covid-19 rules until July 19 – but Boris Johnson faced an embarrassing revolt from his backbench MPs over the delay of ‘Freedom Day “.
Some 60 MPs voted against the measures, with 461 in favor.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the restrictions, which were extended thanks to Labor support, would no longer be delayed beyond July 19.

But Cabinet unrest over the restrictions came to light after Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said, “You can’t run the company just to keep hospitals from being full or you won’t let us. never get in our cars and drive anywhere or do whatever other things people want to do, so there has to be some proportionality. ”

Earlier, disgruntled Tories questioned the Prime Minister’s pledge that July 19 would be a “dead end” date for the lockdown after he was forced to postpone the easing of restrictions on June 21.

Conservatives Question Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock’s Claim That July 19 Will Be ‘End Date’

On questions from the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson was questioned by Tory MPs Philip Davies and William Wragg while Mr Hancock also faced a deluge of criticism over the delay.

Fewer MPs opposed tonight’s vote than in March, when 72 MPs opposed the Commons’ latest vote to expand lockdown rules.

In another vote, MPs voted to extend pandemic procedures to the House of Commons, proxy voting and virtual participation by 588 votes to 25.

But the scale of the opposition – in addition to Mr Rees-Mogg’s critical comments – underscores the difficulties Mr Johnson is facing.

When asked by the Prime Minister, Davies asked why the Prime Minister did not trust the ‘common sense of the British people and their conservative instincts for individual liberty and individual responsibility’ rather than the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for emergencies (Sage).

The Prime Minister insisted he did not want to see the Covid restrictions last forever, but “a little more time” was needed to vaccinate millions more in order to combat the spread of the Delta variant.

Mr Wragg asked, “When can we expect the coordinated chorus of Sage members restarting their media appearances to bring down morale?” “

He asked if Mr Johnson was concerned that he would have to give another press conference to postpone “the return of our freedoms”.

Johnson said: “I think academic and scientific freedom is an invaluable part of our country and I also note that my fellow scientists would echo my feelings that we need to learn to live with Covid. “

A sign that Cabinet ministers are concerned about the extension, House of Commons Leader Rees-Mogg told his ConservativeHome podcast: ‘You can’t run the company just to keep hospitals from being full , otherwise you’d never let us get in our cars and drive anywhere or do any of the other things that people want to do, so there has to be some proportionality. “

Conservative MP Mark Harper

Former Tory Minister Mark Harper, who chairs the containment-skeptical Covid Recovery Group, said he doubted 100% of people in the first nine priority groups had received two doses of the vaccine by July 19, before Note: “My concern, and the concern of others, is that we’re going to get to this point in four weeks and we’re just going to be back here once again to expand the restrictions.” “

Mr Hancock replied: ‘We are not aiming to eradicate this virus in this country because it is not possible … we are aiming to live with this virus, as we do with the flu.

“In fact, at midnight last night, there are now 1.2 million people over 50 and 4.4 million over 40 who had that first jab but not the second, and we’re looking to get a second jab in the majority of them – not all – by July 19.

“By taking this break in the step, the estimate is that we can save thousands of lives.

“But the estimate is also that by taking longer, the longer break should not save many more lives due to the level of protection, especially among those over 50 who are most likely to die. of this disease. “

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said Labor would support regulations to delay the roadmap ‘with a heavy heart’, telling MPs: ‘We are guided by data, not dates, and we have to recognize the facts in front of us ”.

When asked if he wanted July 19 to be a ‘terminus date’, Mr. Ashworth replied: ‘Of course I want to see terminus day on the 19th, although I don’t know if we let’s go see him on the 19th. “

Mr Ashworth pointed to the explanatory notes to the regulation, adding: “They indicate that this four week period is for evaluating the data and that the four tests will be applied at the end of this four week period, that’s not all. at the end of the day the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State have indicated.

The Phantom Health Secretary also joked “I see you have one friend less now Secretary of State,” a reference to Boris Johnson’s apparent criticism of Matt Hancock, as he joked. on his own lack of friends.

Mr Ashworth said lifting all restrictions now “could be like throwing gasoline on the fire”.

He said: “I think the answer to this virus right now is to listen to these medical professionals and take into account what they are saying.

“Delaying the roadmap by four weeks will hopefully relieve the pressure on hospitals, which is why we are ready to support the restrictions tonight in the lobbyists because, for me, I think if we lift all the restrictions now, I’m afraid it may be akin to throwing gasoline on the fire right now, so we will support the government.

“But, of course, we shouldn’t be here, and we’re only here because over the past eight weeks we’ve failed to contain the Delta variant and allowed it to become dominant. I have always tried to keep our civil relations in public and private with the Secretary of State, but not the Prime Minister, it seems.

“(The Health Secretary) is now forever referred to as a hopeless Hancock by his own boss.

“Well, for a lot of our constituents when they watch the news tonight, when they know they failed to protect our borders, when they know they allowed this variant to take off and when they did. With the restrictions extended, I think many of our constituents will no doubt repeat the Prime Minister’s swear words about the Secretary of State tonight. “


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