Conservative MPs irked by the government’s sweeping lockdown measures are plotting a rebellion when emergency Covid legislation is renewed this month, led by the party grandee Sir Graham Brady.

Many Tories have publicly expressed their frustration at aspects of the restrictions. Some are also concerned the emergency law passed six months ago leaves too much power in the hands of ministers.

There is also irritation at policy being announced in late-night briefings to journalists instead of in the House of Commons. Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, recently threatened to run the health secretary, Matt Hancock, “ragged” if he persisted in making announcements to the press instead of MPs.

Brady told the Sunday Telegraph: “In March, parliament gave the government sweeping emergency powers at a time when parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19.

“We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and parliament has been sitting largely since April. There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.

“It is essential that going forward all of these massively important decisions for family life, and affecting people’s jobs and businesses should be exercised with proper supervision and control.”

Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, plans to try and amend the legislation to allow a parliamentary vote each time new emergency powers are used, or restrictions introduced.

His intervention is a sign of the scale of disquiet among Boris Johnson’s backbenchers about the way he is handling the pandemic.

Some Conservative MPs, such as Desmond Swayne of New Forest West, are concerned the government’s restrictions are too draconian. He has complained that rules on face coverings were imposed without “the democratic legitimate right to ask you the counter case and vote upon it in parliament”.

Others have expressed doubts about the “rule of six”, though government sources said this was imposed through pre-existing public health law without requiring powers in the coronavirus act.

The six-month review of the Covid legislation was conceded by the government in March amid pressure from Labour and some backbench Conservatives.

It contained a wide range of powers, from allowing ministers to limit the size of social gatherings to permitting funeral directors to register deaths where relatives were unable to do so.

It is unclear whether Labour is planning to support the wholesale renewal of the legislation or back Brady’s amendment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Publication of explosive tell-all book by Trump’s niece temporarily blocked by New York state judge

A New York judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the publication of Mary L. Trump’s scathing book about her uncle, President Trump, which describes him as the “world’s most dangerous man,” saying no copies can be distributed until he hears arguments…

DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo pulls Supreme Court appeal after new Virginia parole law

D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo asked the Supreme Court to dismiss his appeal on Monday after a change to Virginia state law now makes him eligible for parole. Malvo, who is serving multiple life sentences for his part in a…

‘We Build The Wall’ organizers join Bannon in pleading not guilty in fraud case

Men charged with defrauding ‘We Build the Wall’ fund donors; Aishah Hasnie reports. We Build The Wall organizers Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea pleaded not guilty on Monday after being indicted in connection with an online fundraising campaign that prosecutors claim defrauded…

Newt Gingrich claims Biden’s ’embrace’ of China ‘dictatorship’ should shock Americans

Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich predicts how a Biden presidency would deal with China. American voters should closely examine presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his “embrace” of China, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told “The Ingraham Angle” Friday. “I…