Senior Tories plot ‘Parliamentary lock’ to subject Covid emergency measures to a vote by MPs

Senior Tories plot for ‘Parliamentary lock’ to stop Boris Johnson imposing limits on the public’s freedom without scrutiny

  • Tory MPs unhappy with new restrictions like the Rule of Six are planning a revolt
  • A new amendment could force ministers to put measures to a vote by MPs first
  • The MP leading the charge says ministers need to follow democratic processes

By Adele Redmond For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

Senior Tories are planning a parliamentary lock to prevent Boris Johnson having the final say on new lockdown measures, it has emerged. 

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, is planning to table an amendment that would force ministers to put any new measures to a vote first. 

The move comes as Boris Johnson announced that anyone in England who refuses to obey an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.

The Altrincham and Sale West MP told The Sunday Telegraph that he would take the opportunity to seek to amend the legislation when the Government comes to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Sir Graham Brady (centre) is looking to force a vote by MPs on emergency coronavirus measures amid concerns that restrictions on the public’s freedom are being imposed without parliamentary scrutiny. Senior Tory MPs are said to be angry that they are not able to debate new measures, such as the Rule of Six and £1000 fines for flouting self-isolation, which takes effect next week. Brady said there was ‘no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes’ now parliament is in session (file photo).

The move is likely to attract significant support from Conservative MPs unhappy at the extensive powers taken by ministers with little or no parliamentary scrutiny.

Sir Graham told the Telegraph: ‘In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time when Parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19.

‘We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and Parliament has been sitting largely since April. There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.’

A Downing Street spokesman told The Telegraph: ‘It’s absolutely vital that MPs are engaged in this process as these decisions will have a huge impact on them and their constituents and we will continue to discuss these plans with all MPs.’

Drinkers are seen out on the town in Nottingham on Saturday. Fears of a second wave of coronavirus have prompted Boris Johnson to institute harsh new rules to limit the virus’ spread. But some in his party are displeased with changes that they feel unfairly restrict the freedom of their constituents.

But some senior Tory MPs are angry about new restrictions on the public’s freedom, such as the Rule of Six, being introduced without a debate in the Commons.

Fines of up to £1000 for breaching self-isolation were also approved without parliamentary scrutiny.

Sir Brady, who is chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said that parliament has been sitting since April.

‘There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.’


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