Prime Minister Boris Johnson Facing Rebellion.
As we go through yet another national lockdown for England, Boris is facing a possible open rebellion, on extending lockdown after 2 Dec.
This rebel group of Tories are led by former Chief Whip, Mark Harper and Arch-Brexiteer, Steve Baker. Influential Tory backbencher, Sir Graham Brady, of the 1922 Committee, has also thrown his lot in with the rebel group.
This will come as a major headache for the Prime Minister, as he fights to keep everyone on-side (including Labour and other opposition parties) throughout this year.
The reason, given for the rebellion, is that they highlight the economic costs and how it is giving the UK a huge amount of debt. Aside, from the financial costs, they highlight how mental health is being affected, how people are missing their medical appointments, also, how young people are being affected when it comes to education, prospects and jobs. This group feel we should all live with the virus of COVID until a sustainable and trustworthy vaccine is found.
This current lockdown is supposed to end, on 2 Dec. However, based on the SAGE advice (when the government decides to listen) lifting the lockdown will depend on that advice. Whether the R number has come down significantly as the lockdown can be lifted. Even then, the regions of England will then go back into the Tier system based on the severity of the disease. For example, Tier 1 is the less worst hit, Tier 2 is in the middle and Tier 3, the worst.
It would seem then, that if the R rate has not fallen sufficiently on 2 Dec, any extension of the lockdown will be put to the vote. It would seem also, that Harper, Baker and Brady and their followers are out to scupper any lifting of the lockdown, however, high the R rate.
Are the rebels just thinking about the economy as they will vote against any lengthening of the lockdown? Are they really concerned about the health and welfare of the British people (as they say, they are), are they so concerned, about the education, prospects and jobs for the young? Only they themselves, know their motives. Will any other rebels from other parties join these Tory rebels, all this remains to be seen.
Finally, another reason why these far-right Tory MPs may be prepared to oppose any lockdown lengthening is that the Brexit party has made lockdown and COVID, an issue.
Recently, Nigel Farage, political opportunist that he is, has changed the name of the party, to the 'Reform Party'.
It is possible, that Baker, Harper, Brady, et al, have smelt the coffee and know that the Reform party will be trying to profit from the groundswell of people opposed to lockdowns. They want to be standing on the same ground as the Reform Party.