Boris Johnson news: PM warns MPs to back rules or face ‘far more damaging’ lockdown three | UK | News (Reports)


It comes as the Prime Minister seeks to fend off a growing number of Tory rebels who are unhappy about the upcoming three-tiered system. Leading the pushback is the Covid Recovery Group, or CRG, which has recruited at least 70 MPs this month.

Led by Conservative MPs Steve Baker and Mark Harper, the group has demanded “hard evidence” that the Prime Minister’s tiered system – which is tougher in some respects than the last one – will save more lives than it costs.

A document outlining the damaging effects of coronavirus compared to the current measures to prevent its spread is due to be published on Monday.

The following day, the proposed three-tier system is set to go to a commons vote.

It is thought dozens of MPs are planning or reject or abstain from voting to implement the new measures, which see the vast majority of England placed in either tier 2 or tier 3.

One estimate puts the number of MPs planning to oppose the Government as high as 100.

Addressing the rebels, the Prime Minister said tougher tiers would be necessary “if we are to keep the virus under control and avoid either overwhelming the NHS or another national lockdown which is far more damaging and restrictive than these tiers”.

READ: COVID-19: Boris Johnson says ‘unity and resolve’ will help to beat virus

“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.”

A large Tory rebellion could force Mr Johnson to rely on the Labour party for the number of votes necessary to implement the new rules.

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer met with chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty yesterday in order to decide which way he will order his party to vote.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has also vowed to provide extra funding to the hospitality industry to support it through a period of potentially low profits.

Analysts said the move is another attempt to calm down growing unrest within the Conservative Party about further restrictions.

A Government source told The Telegraph it recognises that “we need to do more” despite grants of £2,000 and £3,000 available for pubs and restaurants in tiers 2 and 3 respectively.

Under the upcoming rules which come into force on Wednesday, hospitality venues in tier 3 will only be able to offer food and drink for takeaway.

In tier two, alcohol may only be served as long as it comes with a “substantial meal”.


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