The government is expected to obtain approval from MPs to expand measures under the Coronavirus Act

Boris Johnson was asked to justify a six-month extension of the “authoritarian” blocking powers in England while Conservative MPs rebelled against the Commons

The government is expected to get approval from MPs to extend measures under the Coronavirus Act until October

But senior Tories from the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) have raised concerns about how such a move is compatible with the prime minister’s promise to restore the country’s freedoms when the vaccination program is launched
Former Secretary Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the CRG, said he expected to vote against the measures on Thursday

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When asked about the magnitude of the Conservative rebellion, Mr Baker told Sophy Ridge on Sky News Sunday, “It’s very difficult to say until we see the full details of what the government is putting forward and how the votes are coming become”

“Let’s be absolutely clear because it seems Labor and the SNP are going to vote for any old authoritarianism these days It looks like the government will start its business with an enormous majority”

“But I think it is important that some of us try to hold the government accountable for these extraordinary powers”

Mr Baker also said in a separate statement: “With so many vulnerable people now vaccinated, people may wonder why the restrictions the government is putting in place next week are tighter than last summer when we were they haven’t had yet”a vaccine

“Your renewal would not be compatible with the Prime Minister’s guarantee that we would be up by May 21 June are on a “one-way path to freedom” “

But Defense Secretary Ben Wallace defended the government’s plans, telling Sky News: “The last mile is the most important thing for all of us Make sure we buckle up and go through the Prime Minister’s various stages

“At each stage, we will be making assessments from science of where we are in the pandemic and taking the necessary steps

“It’s a two-way street. Just because we’re trying to expand powers doesn’t mean we don’t know how the facts are changing on the ground”

On behalf of Labor, Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy said there are powers within the law that need to be discussed in order to judge whether they are necessary

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “This week’s vote is about the roadmap, about easing the roadmap, about statutory sick pay, about the ban on evictions, about all the measures we have taken because we will certainly not stand in the way of the government in passing these laws “

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth expressed frustration with MPs being banned from tabling amendments and offered to work with senior Conservatives to find a way to do it

Elsewhere, Professor Jeremy Brown, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), warned that a “very large number” of people at risk could develop “severe” Covid-19 infection if restrictions are lifted now

He said that between 90% and 95% of people at high risk have been vaccinated, but mostly at a dose that does not provide full protection

He told Sky News, “If you lift restrictions even though most of the people at risk have been vaccinated, the proportion who do not yet represent a very large number of people who could become seriously infected”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Vaccination for Public Health England, told the BBC, “I think it’s very important that we don’t relax too quickly”


World News – UK – The lockdown powers are to be extended until October