Prime Minister faces backlash as MPs vote on new coronavirus measures

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to face rebellion from some backbenchers over coronavirus restrictions in a vote on Tuesday, December 1. 

The system, which proposes that Kingston and all boroughs of London will be in Tier 2, has received a lot of criticism from Johnson’s own party. 

Sir Graham Brady, 1922 Committee chairman, said he wanted to see people “treated as adults” and trusted with their own health decisions. 

The leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has told his MPs to abstain.

The system will put millions of people into Tier 3, and 99 per cent of England into Tier 2 or 3.

If the bill is approved, the new measures will come into force on Wednesday, after the current lockdown ends. 

Over the weekend, the prime minister wrote a letter to members of the Covid Research Group – Conservative MPs sceptical over coronavirus restrictions – to encourage them to vote for the new measures. 

Johnson wrote that the tier system would include a sunset clause/expiry date of February 3 with the chance for MPs to vote on an extension early next year.

In the letter, Johnson said: “Disagreement on approach is natural, and I hope you recognise that the Government is seeking as far as possible to listen to criticism and respond positively to constructive proposals.

“I do believe that the strategy set out is a balanced approach which helps protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, keeps children attending school, and lets the economy open up in a safe way, and the best way forward.”

Meanwhile, an Imperial University React-1 study has shown that coronavirus infections have gone down by 30 per cent in England in the last few weeks.

The period of study is from November 13 to24 which suggests that the lockdown measures imposed on the country in the last month have had a positive impact. 

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