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The Prime Minister has faced criticism from his own Conservative MPs after announcing a second national lockdown in England. The rules are due to start on November 5, but will be subject to a vote in the House of Commons the day before. Sir Charles Walker, the vice chairman of the 1922 committee, told Sky News why he is a strong opponent to Boris Johnson’s proposals.
He said: “I’m fed up of this Government criminalising my constituents for the crime of a parent seeing their child.
“This is not acceptable, and I think we’re at the stage now where we need a written constitution that underpins the fundamental rights of the citizens of this country so they cannot be discarded in a way that they have been over the past six months.
“I think there is huge disquiet on the Conservative benches, but I’m not sure that will translate into a great rebellion.
“I will certainly be voting against the legislation on Wednesday because I’m fed up of having decent people criminalised and facing fines.”
Sir Charles continued: “But I suspect the whip’s office will pick off a number of other troublemakers and heretics to ensure that they’re at worst abstaining.
“I think there are 15 rebels on my side now.”
The Tory MP also hit out at the Labour Party for “avoiding it’s obligation” to be an Opposition.
Leader Sir Keir Starmer has already stated that his party will back the lockdown measures on the Wednesday vote.
Sir Charles told Sky: “Labour supported the measures to give the police powers to detain and arrest people who didn’t self-isolate, but when it came to the vote, 322 Tories voted for it.
“I was the one who voted against it and Labour was nowhere to be seen.
“So don’t be fooled, the Labour Party is very good at avoiding it’s obligation to act as Her Majesty’s Opposition.”
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The lockdown plans will see the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail stores.
Schools, colleges and nurseries will be allowed to stay open.
The Prime Minister said keeping children and young people in education is a priority.
The shutdown is supposed to end on December 2, but a medical adviser to the test and trace system told Sky News that is could last longer than the proposed four weeks if it fails to bring the number of coronavirus cases down.
However, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC that the restrictions will expire on December 2 “as a matter of law”.
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