Tory MP loses it in furious coronavirus Commons rant during key debate – ‘Utter DISGRACE’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Tory MP Sir Charles Walker (Broxbourne) said it was an “utter, utter disgrace” that MPs were only given 90 minutes to debate the Coronavirus Act 2020. In a furious outburst in the Commons on Wednesday, the former chair of the  influential backbench 1922 Committee said: “Ninety minutes to debate the renewal of an Act that fundamentally has changed the nature of the relationship between the state and citizens is not good enough.

“And I have to say, if this is the portent of the promises to come, it’s not good enough.

“I need at some stage more than three minutes to discuss the fundamental hardships that are going on in my constituency – the jobs that are being lost, the opportunities that are being lost, young people struggling to find work, to get back to university, to come back from university.

“Ninety minutes is an utter, utter disgrace. It is actually disrespectful to this House and it is disrespectful to colleagues. And I’m sorry, Secretary of State if I sound… actually, I’m not sorry that I’m angry because a lot of people in this place are angry.

“We want to see this virus beaten, of course we do, but it would be nice, just nice if this House were shown some respect.”

Ministers were forced to promise MPs a vote on major new coronavirus restrictions “wherever possible” after being accused by the Commons Speaker of treating Parliament with contempt.

In a strongly-worded statement, a clearly angry Sir Lindsay Hoyle hit out at the “totally unsatisfactory” way Parliament had been sidelined, with new rules being brought in without scrutiny and sometimes published just hours before coming into force.

But the Speaker threw the Government a lifeline by ruling there would not be a vote on a rebel Tory bid to force ministers to give Parliament a greater say on future measures.

With more than 80 Conservative MPs backing the amendment tabled by the influential chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady, the Government had been facing almost certain defeat if it had gone to a vote.

In the event, the Commons voted to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act by 330 votes to 24 – a Government majority 306 – although only after Health Secretary Matt Hancock assured MPs there would be greater scrutiny in future.

Seven Conservative MPs rebelled to vote against the renewal of emergency coronavirus powers, according to the division list.

They were Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Philip Davies (Shipley), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Esther McVey (Tatton), Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), and William Wragg (Hazel Grove).

Six Labour MPs also rebelled to oppose the motion, despite the Opposition frontbench saying the party would not block it.

They were Dawn Butler (Brent Central), Kevan Jones (North Durham), Rebecca Long-Bailey (Salford and Eccles), John Spellar (Warley), Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton), and Derek Twigg (Halton).

Dr Hilary Jones blasts Britons flouting COVID rules in urgent warning [VIDEO]
BBC Breakfast row erupts as Eustice hits out at host Naga Munchetty [INTERVIEW]
Local lockdown fury: Peter Bone rages at ‘confusing’ COVID tactic [COMMENT]

Mr Hancock said that for “significant national measures” affecting the whole of England or the UK, the Government would consult Parliament and “wherever possible” hold a vote before they came into force.

He added however: “But of course responding to the virus means that the Government must act with speed when required and we cannot hold up urgent regulations which are needed to control the virus and save lives.”

Leading Tory rebels appeared to be satisfied by the concession – including Sir Graham who said it showed the Government now “understood the importance of proper scrutiny in this place and the benefits that can bring to better government as well”.

Source: Read Full Article