'Why should my constituents follow Plan B rules after Downing Street party?', Tory MP demands

Shipley MP Philip DaviesShipley MP Philip Davies
Shipley MP Philip Davies
A Conservative MP from Yorkshire has demanded to know why his constituents should follow new Covid rules after an alleged party in Downing Street last Christmas.

Speaking during a debate on the announcement of the Plan B measures in Parliament on Wednesday night, Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “Earlier this week the Secretary of State came to the Chamber and said … there was not one single hospitalisation from this new variant and today he comes with his latest in a long line of arbitrary, unnecessary, socialist measures supported by the socialists on the other side of the House as well.”

He added: “Can he give me any reason at all why I shouldn’t tell my constituents to treat these rules in exactly the same way that Number 10 Downing Street treated last year’s rules?”

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid replied: “I do understand the importance of the point he is making. What I would say to him is first of all we all know that in South Africa, where we believe this variant originated, we are seeing significant hospitalisations with this new variant and they have been doubling on almost a weekly basis.”

Mr Javid also said there was often a “significant lag” between infection and hospitalisation.

Mr Javid added that when the UK had its very first case of Covid-19 in January 2020, it was not until “two months later that we actually experienced the first death”.

Concern about the Plan B measures were also raised by Miriam Cates, another Conservative MP from Yorkshire.

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Ms Cates, who represents Penistone and Stocksbridge, highlighted polling that suggested 11 per cent of those working from home during the pandemic experienced domestic abuse compared to one per cent of non-home workers.

She said: “27 per cent of disabled home workers reported domestic abuse in the same period.

“What assessment has (Mr Javid) made of the physical, emotional and psychological cost of this work from home mandate to some of the most vulnerable women in our communities?”

The Health Secretary said Ms Cates was right to raise the non-Covid impact of the measures, adding: “There is also a situation where if we do not take – for the reasons I set out earlier – the measures we’ve set out today, the impact on the very people she rightly cares about deeply could be really, really challenging.”