Boris braced for rebellion as MPs will vote against 'draconian' lockdown powers extension

Boris Johnson is bracing for a Tory rebellion from backbencher Steve Baker who confirmed he is planning to vote against the Government’s “draconian” Covid powers extension. Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Mr Baker said himself and 62 other Tories will vote not to extend lockdown powers which if approved would see the emergency measures pushed beyond the June 21 unlocking date by six months.

The Conservative MP branded the extension “absolutely draconian.”

Mr Baker, who is the Deputy Chair of the Covid Recovery Group, explained: “At the moment, it looks like the data is better than anyone’s best estimates, so I do think the Prime Minister should be willing, in following the data, to bring the plan forwards.”

He explained how his timetable would see hospitality open by Easter and added that there was “no case” for restrictions to continue into May if the top nine vulnerable groups have been vaccinated.

But Mr Baker accepted that the rebellion would likely not be successful but added “some of us do need to make a point.”

JUST IN: SNP plot: Sturgeon ties Scotland to EU laws as new bill approved by Holyrood

Asked by host Nick Ferrari about the dangers that come with this alternative roadmap given the third wave outbreak in Europe, Mr Baker said: “Of course I understand that people have died.

“But the issue is that there are costs and there are harms on all sides of the question.

“Every day we spend in lockdown is costing us all a fortune and deeply harming people affected by lockdown.”

He went on to stress that the Coronavirus Act has a “100% unlawful prosecution rate on absolutely draconian powers.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re out shouting Kill the Bill’ Boris Johnson shames Labour – Speaker steps in

Mr Johnson added: “I expect that we will feel those effects in due course.

“That’s why we’re getting on with our vaccination programme as fast as we can but a vaccination campaign and developing vaccines, rolling them out – these are international projects and they require international co-operation.”

Over 29 million people in Britain have now had the first dose of a Covid vaccine.

While the UK has administered 42.7 injections per 100 people, the EU has administered just 10.4 doses.

Leave a Reply