Politics

Tory revolt warning: Leading MP Tobias Ellwood calls for Boris to ‘rethink’ COVID-19 rules

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The Conservative MP told Sky News that there are growing concerns after six months of the UK Government using emergency powers. He added that the Coronavirus Act was the biggest handover of power that anybody can remember. 

Mr Ellwood said: “Rather than a backbench revolt, I hope this will be a front bench rethink.

“There are growing concerns that after six months of these emergency powers, that we face another six months.

“A second wave is coming, there will be further economic intervention.

“This was the biggest handover of power to the executive that anybody can remember.

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“Let’s actually check where our progress is and how we move forward.”

Earlier on Sunday morning, Conservative MP Steve Baker slammed the Government’s quick-changing coronavirus laws and condemned the use of “Draconian powers”.

Mr Baker told Sky News: “100 Acts of Parliament have been used to put in place about 242 statutory instruments, and there have been about 200 changes.

“When you’ve got a body of law that large, changing that fast, I doubt really anyone understands what that law is.

“This is not a free environment for a free people.

“How do people think that liberty dies? It dies like this with Government exercising Draconian powers without parliamentary scrutiny in advance.”

He continued: “It’s extremely serious, I don’t think I look like a hysterical person to you.

“Rishi Sunak brought up this issue that we need to learn to live without fear. At the moment, the public are being deliberately told that they should be afraid.

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“The Government has been frightening people into compliance and it hasn’t been working.”

The Coronavirus Act was initially passed in March, in the early days of the Government’s response to the pandemic.

It gave ministers special, emergency powers to be able to respond to the crisis quickly – without each new law or rule being debated and voted on.

But the nature of the Act meant they were time-limited powers which would need to be renewed by the Commons after six months.

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