Conservative MPs rebel against Boris’ Covid passport plan
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a huge rebellion among Conservative MPs today, Tuesday, December 14. A series of votes were being held in the Houses of Parliament in relation to the new Covid strategy from No10 Downing Street.
When it came to the vote on the mandatory requirement of Covid passports in England, a total of 126 MPs voted against the measure. Of the 126, it is believed that 98 were Tories. Their votes made no difference to the end result, with the proposal gaining a majority of 243.
Today’s large number of MPs voting against their own party’s policies under Boris Johnson is the biggest since December 2020. On that day, 55 Tory MPs voted against raising the Covid tier restrictions in England.
Other issues being voted on included the facemask mandate, which passed easily. There was no need for a vote on new self-isolation measures, which were approved. The vote for mandatory NHS staff vaccinations however again threw up 61 Tory MPs who again voted against this.
Regardless of their 61 votes against, it was approved, given the strong Labour backing for the measures, it was something that was never in doubt.
Charles Walker, the vice-chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, reflected the unease within the party when interviewed by BBC News. “This was just a bridge too far. I think they were putting a marker down. It was a cry of pain from the Conservative Party”, he told them.
Adding, “He (Boris Johnson), is in a very, very, very difficult position. There has been a strong view within the Conservative Party that vaccine passports do not work, and it is not something many colleagues wanted to see introduced. This is a very, very specific line being drawn in the sand now, and I think the prime minister and his team need to listen”.
Treasurer of the 1922, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said that if Mr Johnson did not change his approach, then a challenge for the leadership next year had “got to be on the cards”, as reported by huffingtonpost.co.uk.