Tory civil war: Boris Johnson under attack as 52 MPs demand vote on ‘draconian’ lockdowns

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Former conservative Chancellor, Lord Lamont, labelled the lockdowns as “draconian”. He compared Boris Johnson’s reasons for further coronavirus restrictions to the “dodgy dossier” which former Labour prime minister Tony Blair used to justify the invasion on Iraq in 2003.

So far 52 Tory MPs have signed an amendment backed by the 1922 Committee chairman, Sir Graham Brady, to give MPs a vote on future national restrictions before they come into force.

One backbencher on Monday said the Government was trying “to terrify the British people” with its use of coronavirus data.

Lord Lamont told the House of Lords that the Government “cannot ignore the economic costs” of the lockdown measures.

He added: “The powers the Government has taken are far-reaching, and some might call them draconian.

“The minister has often said that this is a war. Well I hope it’s not the war in Iraq based on a dodgy dossier, or like the war in Afghanistan, a war which can’t be won and to which there is no end. The strategy of the Government is unclear.

“Repeated lockdowns, if that is what we are going to have whilst we wait for a vaccine, are not a tenable strategy.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock made it illegal for households to meet in pubs and restaurants in areas of the north-east of England on Monday.

But Mr Hancock has been urged to take a “rapid” review of the 10pm pub and restaurant curfew.

Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham called the curfew measure counter-productive following footage of pub goers “piling out” into busy streets after 10pm.

The Labour party has demanded that evidence to support the curfew is reviewed.

Coronavirus cases in the UK fell for the third day in a row in Monday.

The amount of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 also dropped by 41 percent since last week.

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On Monday, the Government reported 4,044 new coronavirus cases which was the lowest figure since 20 September.

This came despite predictions of a further spike in COVID-19 infections.

Mr Hancock also met with House of Commons leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and chief whip, Mark Spencer, to discuss a possible defeat in the Commons on Wednesday.

Fifty-two conservative MPs have now signed an amendment to give MPs a vote on future national coronavirus measures before they are enforced.

Conservative MP Steve Baker said: “I hope and expect we will reach a satisfactory agreement.”

While Conservative MP Dehenna Davison said: “All sides are working together to reach an agreement that works, allowing proper scrutiny alongside timely action.”

Meetings between the rebel Tory MPs and Mr Hancock have been arranged for today.

One possible plan is believed to give MPs a vote on new coronavirus restrictions five sitting days after they are in Parliament.

This would change from the current four weeks.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “The question is how we can have the appropriate level of scrutiny whilst also making sure that we can move fast where that is necessary.”

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told The Telegraph: “What you want is a debate and a vote at the time that these changes are proposed.”

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