Baldwin joins calls for vote on future Covid restrictions - The Evesham Observer

Baldwin joins calls for vote on future Covid restrictions

Evesham Editorial 26th Sep, 2020   0

PERSHORE MP Harriett Baldwin is among the Conservative MPs who have added their names to a rebel bid to make any new coronavirus measures subject to a vote in parliament.

Mrs Baldwin is one of 42 Tory MPs who have added their names to an amendment tabled by Sir Graham Brady, the highly influential chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee, to require a vote ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ on new powers.

The rebels are just one MP short of overturning the government’s working majority of 85 in the Commons, with more expected to join them ahead of a crucial debate on Wednesday.

Under the terms of the Coronavirus Act passed in the spring, the government must ask parliament every six months to renew its approval for Covid-19 restrictions to be introduced without a debate and vote in parliament.

Since the first imposition of emergency measures in March, the bulk of restrictions have been simply signed into law by health secretary Matt Hancock either under the terms of the Act or of the 1984 Public Health Act.

Speaking to the Observer, Mrs Baldwin said: ““While I think the Government has struck the right balance this week on the restrictions and the economic package, it’s a point of principle with me we should not allow the executive to take away our constituents’ freedoms without a really thorough debate and vote, unless there is an absolutely overwhelming barrier to doing so such as war or plague.”

It’s not certain the rebel amendment will be selected by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle as Labour has also tabled its own amendment.

However, in addition to former Conservative ministers, the Brady amendment has also been signed by John Cryer, the Parliamentary Labour Party chairman, and former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, as well as senior DUP MPs.


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