Plan B and Covid passes approved by MPs – but Boris Johnson hit by massive revolt.
Boris Johnson has suffered a humiliating rebellion over measures to introduce England’s Covid Plan B, with 99 Conservative MPs rejecting plans for vaccine certificates despite surging infections and personal lobbying by the prime minister.
Measures for Plan B include forcing punters to show ‘Covid passes’ – their vaccine status or a negative test – at nightclubs and crowded venues in England passed by 369 votes to 126.
This was the biggest revolt of Boris Johnson’s premiership that wiped out his majority – as a Tory MP warned a leadership challenge must be ‘on the cards’
The scale of the rebellion – by far the largest of Johnson’s two-year premiership – raises questions about the prime minister’s willingness to implement tougher restrictions in the coming days, even if these are recommended by the government’s scientific advisers.
Tory grandee Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said he was not sending a no-confidence letter in the Prime Minister – “yet”. But he said a leadership challenge next year “has got to be on the cards. He’s got to realise that and he’s got to change”.
The vaccine certificates measure passed comfortably by 369 votes to 126 – but only with the backing of Labour. The number of rebels far exceeds Johnson’s parliamentary majority of 79 – and the 56 MPs needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in his leadership. Thirty-five Tory MPs abstained though only 19 were authorised, meaning a further 16 appeared to have refused to vote – a number that included the former prime minister Theresa May.
Starmer saves the day.
The health measures only passed due to Labour votes after Sir Keir Starmer said it was his “patriotic duty” to back them. Even ex-PM Theresa May abstained.
The Government and Boris Johnson were proper up By Sir keir Starmer and a majority of the Labour Party, It seemed a poor decision by Starmer to offer full unconditional support to Boris Johnson knowing how badly he needed his support.
Starmer made claim he was not playing Party politics and acting in the public interest but surely if that was so he would have leveraged his strong position to introduce some of the measures the Labour party thought would benefit the public and the workers that have kept the wheels of this economy turning.
Demanding to increase sick pay for workers so that they can afford to self-isolate is not unacceptable after all the conservatives have always paid for the support they need to maintain office, ask the DUP.
It could be ventured that it is in Sir Keir Starmer’s best interest to keep Boris in office, Starmer has struggled to make any impact against the Torie’s since he took the leadership, up until Boris Johnson’s Christmas Party scandal Starmer has been embarrassingly so far behind on the polls it has become the focus of much humour on social media.
Sir Keir Starmer has not impressed the public or indeed his own membership and the wider Labour movement. Starmer has not so much won support but Boris Johnson has lost public confidence due to his tenure of lies and corruption. The reality is Starmer’s poll ratings are up because the other guy is so bad. That’s never the basis of a good opposition.
We are all aware that Boris Johnson in the past has been Teflon. His act has fooled many and continues to do so, Starmer may well rule the day he did nothing when opportunity knocked. Then again Starmer may well suffer even more if the Tories oust Boris Johnson and replace him with someone that can articulate a sentence and has not been quiz master at a Christmas party.
Already the government could be forced to bring in even more restrictions within days as cases of the Omicron Covid variant spiral, question is will Starmer continue to support the government unconditionally.
It should be understood that people who are fully vaccinated against covid-19 are far less likely to infect others, despite the arrival of new variants, however, they can still catch and transmit the virus ‘According to the science.’ The jab helps to elevate the worst of the covid symptoms and hopefully prevent you from being admitted to hospital. In a nutshell, covid passports, won’t stop the virus from spreading or infecting people.
Labour Rebels and exiled leaders
There were many Labour rebels too. Along with Jeremy Corbyn who voted against both compulsory vaccines for NHS staff, and the introduction of vaccine passports. Tweeting: “Tonight I will oppose both compulsory vaccines for NHS staff, and the introduction of vaccine passports. Both measures are counterproductive and will create division when we need cooperation and unity.”
Tonight I will oppose both compulsory vaccines for NHS staff, and the introduction of vaccine passports. Both measures are counterproductive and will create division when we need cooperation and unity.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) December 14, 2021
Left-wingers and Greens voting against the government
- Corbyn, Jeremy Independent Islington North
- Barker, Paula Labour Liverpool, Wavertree
- Begum, Apsana Labour Poplar and Limehouse
- Burgon, Richard Labour Leeds East
- Butler, Dawn Labour Brent Central
- Byrne, Ian Labour Liverpool, West Derby
- Greenwood, Margaret Labour Wirral West
- Huq, Dr Rupa Labour Ealing Central and Acton
- Johnson, Kim Labour Liverpool, Riverside
- Lavery, Ian Labour Wansbeck
- Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma Labour South Shields
- Lewis, Clive Labour Norwich South
- Long-Bailey, Rebecca Labour Salford and Eccles
- Maskell, Rachael Labour (Co-op) York Central
- McDonald, Andy Labour Middlesbrough
- McDonnell, John Labour Hayes and Harlington
- Mearns, Ian Labour Gateshead
- Morris, Grahame Labour Easington
- Ribeiro-Addy, Bell Labour Streatham
- Sultana, Zarah Labour Coventry South
- Whitley, Mick Labour Birkenhead
- Winter, Beth Labour Cynon Valley
- Yasin, Mohammad Labour Bedford
- Lucas, Caroline Green Party Brighton, Pavilion
In other votes this evening, the extension of face masks to more venues like theatres and cinemas passed by 441 votes to 41.
And plans to force NHS staff to get the vaccine as a condition of employment passed by 385 votes to 100, after another Tory revolt.
Labour’s Wes Streeting told Sky News after the Covid passes defeat: “The size of that vote is a reflection of the shattered authority of Boris Johnson.
“He’s got to ask himself whether he is the right man to lead our country through the next phase of the pandemic, and Conservative MPs should be asking that question too.”
Sir Keir Starmer said the vote was “a significant blow to the authority of the Prime Minister.
“Just when we need decisive decisions in this pandemic, it’s the worst possible leader at the worst possible time.”
Asked if Tory rebels should try to get rid of the PM, Sir Keir said: “Well, the Prime Minister needs to ask himself the question whether he has the authority to lead this country through this pandemic.”
Good job Starmer was there to catch Johnson as he was falling, who knows, we may have entered the possibility of an accountable government or at least the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson.
Sir Charles Walker, the vice-chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, said the rebellion by Tory MPs over Covid passes was a “cry of pain” by the party.
He told BBC News: “This was just a bridge too far. I think they were putting a marker down. It was a cry of pain from the Conservative Party.
“He (Boris Johnson) is in a very, very, very difficult position. There has been a strong view in within the Conservative Party that vaccine passports do not work and is not something many colleagues wanted to see introduced.
“This is a very, very specific line being drawn in the sand now and I think the Prime Minister and his team need to listen.”