Covid: Tory leadership hopes “said supporting new measures would hurt odds”


Cabinet ministers seeking to succeed Boris Johnson have been warned by fellow Tory MPs not to back new coronavirus restrictions in the new year or risk damaging their chances in a future leadership race.

Conservative MPs are calling for the elimination of New Year’s restrictions, with ministers due to meet on Monday to discuss the need for new rules as the new Omicron variant continues to push daily cases to record levels.

The UK saw 122,186 new cases of Covid on Friday – the highest toll from the pandemic to date – while the Office for National Statistics estimated 1.7 million Britons had the virus during the week ending December 19, also a record.

But a large number of Tory MPs continue to oppose further Covid restrictions after 99 rebelled against the government’s Plan B measures earlier this month – such as the introduction of Covid passes – some of them calling it “draconian” and “impractical”.

“If No 10 proposes tighter restrictions just after Christmas, these cabinet ministers with freedom-loving instincts – who gave us all so much hope last week – must speak out,” he added . the observer quoted a member of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs.

“In any future leadership race we will all remember how they acted this week. We need true, courageous, freedom-loving conservatives to save us from this madness. “

Liz Truss, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are seen as the forerunners if the Tory leadership becomes available, underlining the growing instability in Mr.

Data suggesting Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant it moved has given MEPs opposed to the new restrictions hope.

Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 Conservative MPs committee, said: “As we look forward to the new year, it is time to step out of the lazy assumption that government has the right to control our lives; we should take responsibility for our own lives once again.

The news comes as it emerged that government science advisers had modeled the impact of implementing new ‘stage 2’ restrictions from Tuesday. The measures would see an end to indoor gatherings and to bars and restaurants that can only be used outdoors again.

Modeling suggests that the restrictions could reduce deaths by 18% if held until mid-January or by 39% if maintained until the end of March.

Such measures have already been introduced in Scotland where Hogmanay celebrations have been canceled as new restrictions come into effect from December 26. For three weeks from Boxing Day, there will be a limit on large public places, which will also see sports matches significantly impacted.

New restrictions will also be introduced for pubs, restaurants and other indoor public places for three weeks from December 27. Indoor reception and recreation areas should ensure that there is a distance of 1 meter between the different groups of people, and table service will be required where alcohol is served.


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