Coronavirus: Starmer and Johnson face rebellion over covid tiers

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Labour set to abstain on Covid tiers vote, reveals Starmer

Both the Tories and the Labour Party are facing dissension as MPs are set to rebel on the Covid Tiers.

Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back his stricter Covid tiers system for England, amid a threatened rebellion from his backbenchers.

The Johnson said the NHS “remains under pressure” despite progress in tackling the virus during the nationwide lockdown ending on Wednesday.

A number of Tory MPs have criticised the new regional restrictions and have said they will vote against the government.

But with both Labour and the SNP are abstaining from the vote due around 19.00 GMT, they are expected to pass.

More than 55 million people will enter the two toughest tiers from 00:01 GMT on Wednesday if the plans are approved.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as once again taken the weak position of abstaining without even offering an alternative or amendment to the legislation if he actually thought the restrictions wrong or overreaching or in fact there where concessions to be made.

Starmer should have made that point in parliament, that is what opposition is there for, however instead he said he recognised restrictions needed to continue, but he was “far from convinced” the new system will work, and economic help for firms was “nowhere near sufficient”.

Defending his decision to order his MPs to abstain, he said it was “not in the national interest” Why he did not join with the Tory rebels and vote against the government’s restrictions and new tears we will never know.

Sir Keir Starmer goes on to say: “However, I remain deeply concerned that Boris Johnson’s government has failed to use this latest lockdown to put a credible health and economic plan in place.

“We still don’t have a functioning testing system, public health messaging is confused, and businesses across the country are crying out for more effective economic support to get them through the winter months.

“It is short-term government incompetence that is causing long-term damage to the British economy. It is imperative that the government gets control of the virus so that our NHS can be protected and our economy recovers faster.”

Unfortunately for Sir Keir Starmer, it seems not all the Labour Party MPs are willing to be dictated to by the Tories. The rebellion from the Tory backbenches is believed to be as many 70 MPs obviously this could well have meant a different outcome if both the SNP and Labour Party started to oppose rather than support or abstain.

However, even if amendments where not possible the size of this rebellion could well have forced the Government to rethink and perhaps conceded some points made rather than to roll over and moan strategy Starmer seems keen to follow.

UPDATE…

England’s lockdown tiers confirmed

Johnson suffers biggest Commons revolt since election as MPs back new Covid tiers by 291 to 78

78 voted against. Rebel source: 56 Tory rebels, 16 Labour and 8 DUP

17 Tory MPs abstained that’s a combined rebellion of 73

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