Despite threats of a party rebellion, Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown plan was passed by 516 votes to 38 a majority of 478. This means from midnight on Thursday morning, shops and businesses across the country will be forced to close. Some notable Tory MPs such as former leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker and chairman of the influential 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady had all stated their opposition to the bill.
Indeed, immediately after the vote, Mr Baker explained his reasoning over why he voted against the Government.
He said: “When I’m being asked to impose enormous costs on my constituents and the nation as a whole, to do that where on some measures where the R-rate is lowering, was something I could not stand by.”
Mr Baker was joined by 31 other Tories who voted no, alongside four DUP MPs – Paul Girvan, Carla Lockhart, Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson – and one independent, Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East.
Mr Johnson, however, was handed a huge boost, despite anger among from some Tories, after the Opposition pledged to support the lockdown.
While criticising the Prime Minister for the delay in the lockdown, Sir Keir Starmer did welcome the announcement made last Saturday.
The Prime Minister has pledged to end the lockdown on December 2 amid concern it could be extended beyond the initial end date.
Mr Johnson had been forced into this drastic action as the picture across England looks increasingly bleak.
Today, NHS England revealed there had been a further 302 deaths in hospitals from coronavirus.
Despite the rising number of cases, some Tory MPs argued for a continuation of the tier system.
They argued the three-tier system had as of yet, not been given enough time to have an impact some being introduced last month.
Mr Johnson had stated earlier today: “I am not prepared to take the risk with the lives of British people.
“While it pains me to call for such restrictions on lives, liberty and business I have no doubt that these restrictions represent the best and safest path for our country.”
Indeed, Tory MPs also stated their concern over the economic impacts of a second lockdown in England.
Sir Graham said earlier today that he doubted the Government had the right to take some of the decisions it wants to.
He said: “The thing that troubles me most is that the Government is reaching too far into the private and family lives of our constituents.
“I think there is an, unintended perhaps, arrogance in assuming the Government has the right to do so.”
Published at Wed, 04 Nov 2020 16:21:00 +0000