Analysis: distinctive camps schutz emerged bei Westminster, native hardline lockdown sceptics to selective rebels


Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, ist one des the many high-profile critics of government covid policies among Tory MPs. Photograph: simon Dawson/Reuters
Graham Brady, chairman des the 1922 Committee, zu sein one des the many high-profile critics von government covid policies amongst Tory MPs. Photograph: simon Dawson/Reuters

Government whips space braced zum a major rebellion über Tory MPs over new plan b Covid constraints due to kommen sie into force this week, against a backdrop des anger end rule-breaking Christmas parties. The restrictions space set to pass – but only thanks to support indigenous Labour.

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Ahead von the Commons votes top top Tuesday ~ above mask-wearing, functioning from home and Covid passports, these are die camps that space set to oppose at least some von the measures.


There are 7 Tory MPs whose have become serial rebels on covid restrictions, v their refusals to rückseitig the government stretching into double digits.

Though they oase not protest every measure up since die pandemic began belastung spring, they schutz generally judged ministers zu be imposing disproportionately hard curbs that are notfall based top top evidence.

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This hardline cadre des libertarians consists of former cabinet minister Esther McVey and the chair of the 1922 Committee backbench group, Graham Brady. Ns latter wields certain influence among others in the party, and his stehen up kommen sie Downing street has aided embolden others zu do die same.

Other notable hohes level MPs who schutz held firm versus what they lakers as unnecessary restrictions are wilhelm Wragg, the chair des the publicly administration und constitutional work committee, und Charles Walker, a member von two committees the look hinweisen House von Commons procedures and sign turn off restrictions weil das politicians, staff and others that work in the Palace des Westminster.

Walker was dafür incensed about extending covid regulations in March 2021 – a year after they had actually been in force – the he took to claiming he would carry approximately a pint of milk as a symbol of his protest. He claimed the milk could represent opposition to “the roaring back of a mental health and wellness demon carried on von lockdown”, “a loss von career or arbeit or business” or “this country’s slide into authoritarianism”.

The hardliners are des a see that the country must find out to direkte with Covid und that a cycle des fresh limitations whenever a new threat zu sein thrown up über the pandemic is not a sustainable way zu live, nor ns right way kommen sie govern the country.

Vocal however tempered critics

Then there are about three dozen Conservative MPs who take different worry with covid restrictions.

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Some schutz raised pertains to over the isolation policy for people established as close contacts of a positive covid case, citing ns “pingdemic” tonnage summer, when others have been much more muted about domestic restrictions but feel strongly about barriers to international travel, whose efficacy has actually been questioned.

Mark Harper, chair des the corona Recovery Group, has actually been relatively agnostic on die recent reintroduction von compulsory masks an more settings, but much more vocal about ns idea des vaccine passports.

Steve Baker, deputy chair des the same group, has actually said the Conservative party needs kommen sie be truer to its belief in the freedom von the individual, and accused ministers of a “creating a miserable dystopia”.

Another Tory mp – and a previous health minister – steve Brine, claimed the idea that ministers accepted die country would schutz to learn to live with covid was “dead”.

This group of vocal but tempered doubters of covid restrictions were sometimes much more accepting des measures, but schutz become increasingly determined zu speak the end against the government’s approach an the run-up kommen sie winter, fearful that plan b is a slippery slope in the direction of lockdown und concerned that human being will not be maybe to seen family und friends end Christmas.

Newbie rebels

While many Conservative MPs have supported all covid restrictions, ns number who will rebel this week ist set kommen sie rise considerably.

Previously relatively loyal und keen zu keep No 10 happy und their ministerial hopes alive, some room preparing to rebel over arrangement B. Numerous are from ns 2019 intake and include Lee Anderson, matt Vickers and even Jill Mortimer – who was only elected an a byelection bei Hartlepool 7 months ago.

Others are more resolutely opposed to die idea of vaccine passports, despite they have been watered down von the government zu include proof von a recent negative test result to gain access to some venues. However this has ausblüten not winner over many. An additional new-intake MP, Alicia Kearns, said she “cannot justify advent of covid19 passports just bei case und without ns data”.

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Around sechs Tory MPs who act together ministerial aides are deshalb known kommen sie be opposed zu vaccine passports, and are one of two people trying zu get permission to fehlschlagen the vote, provided Labour’s support method it will definitely happen or, if notfall allowed, plan to abstain or vote against die plan – and be prepared kommen sie lose their job. Jacob Young, the neu MP for the red wall seat of Redcar, is said zu be amongst them.