United Kingdom

Boris Johnson lockdown rebellion – letter in full as 70 Tory MPs REFUSE to back Boris

During a vote on the current four-week system earlier this month, 32 Conservatives rebelled to oppose the measures and 17 more, including former prime minister Theresa May, abstained. Now it seems Boris Johnson may have another internal crisis on his hands after a letter on behalf of 70 Tory MPs indicated they would not support the rollout of new coronavirus lockdown restrictions the Prime Minister is expected to unveil tomorrow.

Members of the newly formed Covid Recovery Group, led by former chief whip Mark Harper and High Wycombe MP Steve Baker, have demanded a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of the new system in a letter to the PM last night.

If this is not supplied, they indicated they would not support – and could even vote against – the Government in Parliament on any extra restrictions after the England lockdown ends on December 2.

Mr Johnson would see his working majority wiped out in an embarrassing blow if all 70 voted against the new tiered system, meaning he could be forced to rely on Keir Starter and Labour’s support.

The warning against the measures inflicting “huge health and economic costs” came in a letter to the Prime Minister, which sources close to the group said had been signed by 70 Conservative MPs, though the group’s leaders were the only signatories identified.

READ MORE: Boris facing Tory REVOLT as MPs reject looming Covid crackdown

The letter, which began ‘Dear Prime Minister, said: “Thank you for everything you are doing to gift COVID-19. We know this is a complex situation demanding immense resolve from you and your team and we are grateful.

“We welcome your assurances that the national lockdown will end on December 2. As everyone will know, like the disease, lockdowns and restrictions cause immense harm.

“There is no doubt that Covid is a deadly disease to many and it is vital that we control its spread effectively.

“But we must give equal regard to other lethal killers like cancer, dementia and heart disease, to people’s mental health, and all the health implications of poverty and falling GDP.

“The tiered restrictions approach in principle attempts to link virus prevalence with measures to tackle it, but it’s vital we remember always that even the tiered system of restrictions infringes deeply upon people’s lives with huge health and economic costs.. Even tier 1 only allows group of up to six people to meet indoors.

“We cannot support this approach further unless the Government demonstrates the restrictions proposed for after December 3 will have an impact on slowing the transmission of Covid, and will save more lives than they cost.

“To this end, Government must publish a full cost benefit analysis of the proposed restrictions on a regional basis so that MPs can assess responsibly the non-civid heath impact of restrictions, as well as the undoubted impact on livelihoods.

“We cannot live under such a series of damaging lockdowns and apparently arbitrary restrictions, and expect our constituents to be grateful for being let out to enjoy the festive season, only to have strict restrictions imposed on them afterwards that cause them health problems and destroy their livelihood.”


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