How much patience did the Conservatives leave with Boris Johnson?


The British prime minister is facing a rebellion over COVID plans that will put 99 per cent of England under severe restrictions when the country leaves the lockout.

Several Conservative MPs have indicated they will not support Boris Johnson after uncovering new level restrictions and called on the government to publish the evidence behind the decisions to divide the country into three levels of blockade.

A total of 98.7 percent of the country will be under the second or third level restriction, which sets strict rules for household mixing, with the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly only at the first level.

The Covid Recovery Group (CRG), an anti-blocking company with conservative background builders, called the move “authoritarian work.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the move was “needed to protect the NHS and keep the virus under control”.

The government has promised to publish an impact assessment early next week before MPs have a chance to vote on the new rules. But Johnson’s own representatives, including Sir Graham Brady, the influential chairman of the Tory Committee of Representatives in 1922, are growing up among the rebellion, saying he will vote against measures that “interfered with people’s private and private lives in a way , unacceptable”.

“I have a lot of reservations on many levels,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One. “I think the policies were too authoritarian.”

CRG chief Steve Baker asked, “Is it necessary and proportionate to the threat of the disease?” Former Minister Tobias Ellwood, a Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East, tweeted: “With only 160 cases per 100 thousand, I see it incomprehensible that we are in this stratum, which is causing further difficulties for our hospitality industry. I will NOT support the government’s week. “

Dr Liam Fox and John Penrose, MPs from North Somerset and Weston-super-Mare, said in a joint statement that classifying the area as Level 3 was neither right nor fair. The decision, they said, was “illogical,” given that people were asked to work from home and said the region would be punished for a higher rate of infection nearby.

They said, “North Somerset alone might fit the second tier, but we got to the third tier because, alongside Bristol and Gloucestershire, we ‘consider the work area a natural journey.’

Boris Johnson visits a UK military laboratory in Porton Down where COVID tests are taking place
Adrian Dennis / Getty

Some Conservative MPs said their territory had left the national lockout under stricter restrictions than they had entered. Tom Tugendhat, who represents Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling in Kent, said: “We closed at the first level and came out at the third. It doesn’t work for us.”

Jonathan Djanogly, a Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, tweeted: to him. “

Harriett Baldwin, a West Worcestershire MP, said: “More than 23 million people lived under first-level restrictions before the closure – that number will be under one million in December. Greg Clark and former cabinet ministers Damian Green were among seven Tory MPs who expressed frustration at Kent being classified in the entire third division.

In response, Johnson told Sky News: “I fully understand why people feel frustrated, I understand that. But I really, very much hope that people also understand that I think the vast majority of the British public wants to let’s work hard, do it right and defeat the virus. ”

MPs warned that Johnson could jeopardize the COVID crisis by losing the next general election scheduled for May 2024. Could confidence in Johnson decline even earlier?

“I don’t think his position would be a real threat,” says Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham. Newsweek. “Next week is about ventilation, back-married people want to vent their frustration and let Johnson know they don’t like what’s happening – but there’s light at the end of the tunnel and a vaccine is on the horizon, and I think the light saves it. “

Managing the COVID epidemic “was never Johnson’s job,” Fielding says. Ahead of news of successful vaccination attempts by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, Fielding believes it is more likely than expelling his party that Johnson will think he “can’t bother me.”

“Johnson doesn’t like to give people bad news, so he has been criticized for many COVID crises, but now that he was able to give good news about vaccination, it’s clear and there’s hope. He’s back to be able to bring the good news he wants. People love that about Johnson, about optimism and this gung ho character. We can see that it comes back. “

Fielding said earlier that it was unlikely that Johnson would last that long.

When Johnson won an 80-strong majority in the 2019 British general election, it was the best Conservative result since 1987. “There are still a lot of MPs who see Boris Johnson as responsible for being in government,” Fielding says. “Managing COVID has undermined this a lot, but I don’t think anyone is likely to turn against it now as a leader.”

Johnson’s majority in the Commons means it is unlikely that his level restrictions will be voted down, but if 40 of his own representatives revolt against him, he will have to rely on Labor support to get ahead. The Labor is expected to decide early next week whether to support the plans after consulting with government coronavirus experts.