The Prime Minister is under severe pressure from MPs within his own party, with one warning his tenure could be at risk if he prolongs the lockdown any further than the beginning of next month. Richard Drax, Tory MP for South Dorset, claimed the Prime Minister is now fearful of being labelled as “murderer” if deaths continue to rise. Mr Drax was one of the 55 MPs who either voted against the Government or chose to abstain during this week’s vote on the lockdown.
Among other Tory rebels, Mr Drax claimed the number of rebels could rise drastically if the lockdown is extended further.
His fears came as the Chancellor extended the furlough scheme through to March to cover businesses across the country – prompting fears over the length of the lockdown.
Speaking on the Chopper Politics podcast, Mr Drax said: “Fifty-five MPs is a large number, on the first occasion, and there are a lot more who would.
“And I cannot see the Prime Minister – who wants to presumably to be Prime Minister for another three years or so – is going to risk a massive rebellion of 80, 90, 100 or more.”
Although Mr Drax did admit his sympathy for the Prime Minister’s position, he claimed the long-term future of the country must be considered.
He added: “I suspect the fear of being accused, in the worst case, of being a murderer, which some people may aim at him if deaths continue to rise, is both for him morally and politically a very devastating accusation to make.
“And this is where I think common sense is desperately needed to look at the balance between shutting the country down and trying to save a few more people, or living with this virus while saving the few, which we can now do, and allowing the country to continue.
“And on balance, I think it should definitely be the latter.”
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He added: “These measures, though they are tough, are time-limited.
“The advice I’ve received suggests that four weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact.
“So these rules will expire and on 2 December we plan to move back to a tiered system.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
While there are legitimate economic worries for the country, the infection rate in the country is still estimated between 1.1-1.3.
The infection rate is the number of second-hand infection and according to Government figures, it is growing at between two and four percent.