England To Be Plunged Into Toughened Tiers at Midnight After Boris Fought Off Tory Rebels.
Boris Johnson suffered the largest backbench rebellion of his premiership on Tuesday, December 1, after nearly 60 Tory MPs voted against the new three-tier system of coronavirus regulations. The prime minister has hinted that some areas of the country could have their restrictions downgraded if they are successful in stemming the virus.
The measures were passed by 291 votes to 78, paving the way for 99 per cent of England, almost 55 million people, to be placed under the toughest Tier 2 and 3 restrictions when England’s national lockdown ends at midnight. But the scale of the Tory revolt, which saw an estimated 56 MPs vote against the motion and a number abstain, will send political shockwaves less than a year after Mr Johnson won a majority of 80 at the general election.
Sir Keir Starmer had asked his MPs to abstain on the vote, all-but guaranteeing the restrictions would be approved, although 16 Labour MPs eventually voted against the proposals.
Tory former health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said several sectors are being restricted on the ‘most arbitrary of judgments’. He said: ‘These decisions are being taken really on the back of a fag packet but are destroying whole swathes of the hospitality industry.
‘As a Conservative, it appals me that we’re being so cavalier about jobs and wealth creation.’ Former Conservative Cabinet minister Jeremy Wright said he would vote against the Government ‘for the first time in 10 years’. He told the Commons: ‘And not because I oppose the move away from nationwide restrictions and towards a localised tiered structure, I do support that, but the logic of that approach is that you make the restrictions as local as you can consistent with accurate and reliable virus data. ‘We have that data at the borough and district level, so why do we not consistently impose our restrictions at that level?’
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