Boris faces Tory uprising as MPs fight to limit No10’s power – ‘We can’t live like this!’

Lockdown: Neil Ferguson predicts easing of restrictions

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Lockdown-sceptic MPs are desperate to stop the Government forcing coronavirus restrictions on Brits without a vote. Wycombe MP Steve Baker is calling for a new Act of Parliament to prevent “Government overreach” by imposing draconian rules on society without the support of the Commons.

His demand is being backed by a number of Conservative MPs.

There has been growing anger on Tory backbenches at the Government for introducing restrictions on Brits without being voted on by Parliament.

Ministers provoked outrage last week when they announced anyone arriving into the UK from a “red-listed” country risked 10 years in prison if they lied about where they had travelled from.

The long prison sentence was introduced as a deterrent without MPs getting the chance to give their support to the plans.

Conservative backbenchers fear the coronavirus crisis is being used by the Government to undermine Parliamentary sovereignty and make decisions without scrutiny.

“We must ensure that any future restrictions undergo proper analysis and scrutiny”, Mr Baker said writing for the Daily Telegraph today.

“We cannot live in a society where lockdowns are perpetually on the table, in fear that a minister might, without notice, impose restrictions that cost people their jobs, their livelihoods, their ability to date, to marry, to visit family at home and abroad, or to invest in their futures.”

The former minister demanded new laws to restrict the actions Mr Johnson can take without facing vote in the Commons.

Mr Baker said: “We need a new Public Health Act: an improved set of democratic checks and balances which would provide greater confidence in decisions and prevent a Government from overreaching.

“A new Act requiring proper impact assessments would force ministers to engage in a rigorous, cross-departmental exercise, weighing up the benefits and harms of each proposed restriction in light of its impact on health, on education, on the economy and on personal liberty.”

It comes after 63 Tory MPs wrote to the Prime Minister calling for guarantees all school children will be back in classrooms on March 8, and pubs and restaurants reopened by Easter.

They said the dates were linked to the rollout of the vaccine programme and when the most vulnerable should have built up immunity to the virus.

All over-70s have now been offered the vaccine, with scientists expecting to see an 88 percent drop in the death rate as a result in the coming weeks.

They said: “Your roadmap must demonstrate how the vaccination rollout translates into a return to normal life.

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“A relaxation of unnecessary restrictions must follow from 8 March.”

In a warning against an extension to lockdown, the MPs added it was “important that these goalposts do not shift”.

With growing frustration at lockdown imposed on the nation, MPs are losing their patience with Mr Johnson.

Last month Mr Baker said “inevitably the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table” if a route out of lockdown was not presented.

In a letter to Tory MPs, he said: “People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party.”

After his note was made public, Mr Baker took to social media to back Mr Johnson as Prime Minister.

He said: “What this country needs is the complete success of Boris Johnson, with his excellent EU deal, a successful vaccination programme and a road to recovery, back to freedom.

“I am clear Boris is the only person to lead us out of these difficulties and I support him in that endeavour.”

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