Boris Johnson faces Tory rebellion over Covid passes

Yorkshire MPs are among the dozens of Conservative rebels who will vote down the Government’s plans for Covid passes today, amid concerns that they will have no impact on reducing transmission.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Stow Health Vaccination centre in Westminster, central London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Stow Health Vaccination centre in Westminster, central London.

Boris Johnson could find his working majority at risk when it comes to the Plan B votes, with more than 70 MPs on his side thought to be unwilling to give their support to the measures.

However, yesterday Mr Johnson called for people to “recognise” the “serious risk to public health” posed by the new variant which has triggered these measures which also includes wider mask mandates and guidance to work from home.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Robbie Moore, who has represented Keighley since 2019, has said that he does not “believe that the package of the Plan B restrictions work in terms of reducing transmission.”

He is one of a cohort of relative Parliamentary newcomers who has said he cannot give the legislation his support.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post yesterday he explained his concerns that the Covid pass - as well as the new guidance to work from home - could negatively impact businesses.

“Businesses who have spent a lot of money over the last 12 months making sure they are Covid secure, now have to ask staff to go home”, Mr Moore said.

“But it’s still perfectly reasonable for all of those colleagues to go to the pub.”

“Logically it doesn’t make any sense in terms of reducing transmission.

Mr Moore added: “This will make a difference to the small and medium businesses that are the backbone of our economy.”

The proposed Covid passes showing full vaccination or a recent negative test will be required for entry to indoor venues containing more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people, from tomorrow.

“It’s the first step in my view in them being implemented in much smaller businesses and in hospitality,” Mr Moore said, “and that is my worry”.

Overall it is thought that around 75 Government MPs are considering rebelling against the Cabinet in the votes, however they are still likely to pass given that the Labour Party have pledged their support.

Read More

Read More
Omicron: Booster jabs will be available on Christmas Day, but Boris Johnson fail...

That would be a significant blow to Mr Johnson’s leadership, as he faces anger for allegedly rule-breaking parties in the run-up to Christmas last year.

Westminster is also on watch for the resignation of ministerial aides, with up to 10 parliamentary private secretaries reported to be preparing to quit to rebel against the plans.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Johnson warned MPs thinking of rebelling against Plan B measures needed to recognise there was “no room for complacency” in dealing with Omicron.

Asked about support among his backbenchers ahead of today’s crucial vote, the Prime Minister told broadcasters: “I think that what everybody needs to recognise is a couple of things – that Omicron is a very serious risk to public health, and that it’s spreading very fast,

“I think there’s no room for complacency.

“But we have the vaccines, our position remains incomparably better than it was last year.

“And I hope that people will also understand – colleagues in Westminster, around the country –

will also see that the measures we’re putting in place are balanced and proportionate.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are facing a tidal wave of Omicron and these Plan B measures are a vital part of enabling us to buy time so that we can get more of these booster doses in arms and provide the protection that will protect both lives and livelihoods.”