ENGLAND will plunge into a fresh lockdown from midnight despite dozens of Tory rebels mounting a blistering attack on Boris Johnson's 'dodgy data' vote.
Ex-PM Theresa May led furious attacks on the PM as up to 50 Tories rebelled by voting against the new rules – or not voting at all.
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Fuming MPs – including the former PM – said the graphs and data used from modelling to try and argue the case for the lockdown is flawed and out of date.
But the PM insisted he will not risk British lives and again defended his decision to plunge England into a national shut down which will cost billions.
But after Labour backed the tough new laws, it passed comfortably this afternoon by 516 – 38.
32 Tories voted against and 21 abstained by not voting at all – though at least five of these would have been paired and allowed to do so.
But Conservative sources said they were unlikely to be punished for their actions.
The lockdown will come into play for a month starting from midnight, and will end on December 2.
38 MPs defied their whips and voted against the new measures, which will shut all non-essential shops and order people to stay at home for four weeks.
It came as 492 deaths were reported today – the highest since May – and 25,177 new cases of the virus.
A handful of MPs said today cracking down on liberties like seeing friends or family was unacceptable.
MPs are also raging over barmy rules which mean kids grassroots football will be banned, golf and tennis are cancelled, but sport at school can continue and people can go running in pairs.
Backbencher Mrs May today stuck the knife into Boris over his use of questionable data which led to the lockdown decision.
She said today it seemed ministers wanted to find data to fit their decision, rather than the other way around.
The ex-PM tore into scientist's fears of 4,000 deaths per day by December, which is said to have informed her successor's decision to impose a second national lockdown in England.
She told the Commons this afternoon: "It appears the decision to go towards this lockdown was partly, mainly, to some extent based on the prediction of 4,000 deaths a day.
"Yet if you look at the trajectory showing in that graph that went to 4,000 deaths a day, we would have reached 1,000 deaths a day by the end of October.
"The average in the last week of October was 259, by my calculations. Each of those deaths is a sadness and our thoughts are with the families, but it's not 1,000 deaths a day.
"So the prediction was wrong before it was even used.
"And this leads to a problem for the Government – for many people it looks as if the figures are chosen to support the policy rather than the policy being based on the figures."
And she blasted ministers for only allowing veterans to have Remembrance services this Sunday outside in the cold, banning Churches from hosting group events.
She said: "Surely those men and women who gave down their lives for our freedom deserve better than this?"
He was forced to write her a note saying sorry for walking out of the Commons chamber today while she was speaking – which some saw as a snub to his predecessor.
It came as:
- Boris insisted the rules WOULD legally end on December 2 no matter what – as he told businesses he would do whatever it takes to help them recover
- NHS chief Simon Stevens said GPs are being told to get ready for a vaccine within weeks
- NHS England will go into its highest level of alert tomorrow
- New advice for clinically vulnerable advised them not to leave their home except to exercise and for medical appointments – in a new shielding programme in all but name
- Labour's Sir Keir Starmer warned that the lockdown should not end if the R rate is still above one
- Priti Patel ordered police chiefs to crack down even harder on people breaking the rules in the second lockdown
Mrs May also raised concerns about a lack of data on the cost of the Government's actions, including on mental health, domestic abuse, non-Covid-19 treatments, "possibly more suicides" and to the economy.
And she called on them to release impact assessments on the effects and costs of a second lockdown.
Number 10 said the implications were "considered at every stage" of the decision-making process.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Government have been clear throughout about the cost, not just to the economy from the measures we've been forced to put in place, but also the impact they have on mental health, and both of those things have been considered at every stage when we've been deciding what action we need to take."
The PM today argued the new rules are needed to "contain the surge of the autumn virus", protect the NHS and help save "many" lives.
He told MPs this afternoon: "Of course this is not something that any of us wanted to do.
"None of us came in to politics to tell people once again to shutter their shops, to furlough their staff or stay away from their friends and family.
"I, in common with all members, feel the pain and anxiety that we're all going to share in the month ahead."
And he stressed: "I'm not prepared to take the risk with the lives of the British people."
The MPs who voted against the second lockdown
- Adam Afriyie (Con)
- Peter Bone (Con)
- Sir Graham Brady (Con)
- Steve Brine (Con)
- Christopher Chope (Con)
- Philip Davies (Con)
- Jonathan Djanogly (Con)
- Jackie Doyle Price (Con)
- Richard Drax (Con)
- Iain Duncan Smith (Con)
- Marcus Fysh (Con)
- Chris Green (Con)
- James Grundy (Con)
- Mark Harper (Con)
- Gordon Henderson (Con)
- David Jones (Con)
- Tim Loughton (Con)
- Craig Mackinlay (Con)
- Stephen McPartland (Con)
- Esther McVey (Con)
- Huw Merriman (Con)
- Anne Marie Morris (Con)
- Mike Penning (Con)
- John Redwood (Con)
- Andrew Rosindell (Con)
- Henry Smith (Con)
- Sir Desmond Swayne (Con)
- Sir Robert Syms (Con)
- Derek Thomas (Con)
- Sir Charles Walker (Con)
- Craig Whittaker (Con)
- William Wragg (Con)
- Paul Girvan (DUP)
- Carla Lockhart (DUP)
- Ian Paisley (DUP)
- Sammy Wilson (DUP)
- Dr Julian Lewis (Independent)
Former leader Iain Duncan Smith indicated he would vote down the measures tonight, saying he believed the Tier system was working in helping bring down the infection rates.
He added: "This decision, I believe, was not necessary now. I believe the Government can use the … tier system to make sure that we do press down on it.
"The evidence from all those areas that we have looked at – Liverpool and the north-west – is that we are beginning to see this come down."
Tory MP Peter Bone indicated he would rebel against the Government in the Commons vote on plans for a national lockdown in England.
Mr Bone tweeted: "Today I will vote against a second national lockdown. The government's case is based on dubious modelling. It seems to me there are lies, damn lies and Covid statistics!!"
Steve Baker also indicated he would vote against them.
He said today: "I am sorry that I do not feel able to impose the undoubted costs of lockdown on the basis of the necessary balancing judgement calls."
And he blasted Government data as "outdated" with "fundamental issues".
Sir Graham Brady also said he would be voting against the measures tonight.
He told MPs: "I have a fundamental problem with much of what we are being asked to do here" and tells the Commons he has had constituents in tears because they can't see their family.
However, with Labour expected to back it, it means the laws will pass and it's thought that any rebellion will be purely symbolic.
Boris urged people to "put aside party political wrangling and point scoring" aside to support the national effort to drive down the Covid-19 infection rate.
Earlier Mr Johnson promised business leaders today that the second Covid lockdown will legally end on December 2.
He sought to calm jitters among the business community over fears the measures will continue in a video message to the Confederation of British Industry’s virtual conference.
Staring down the camera, the PM said: “Believe me, we will end these autumn measures on December 2nd when they expire.”
And he vowed that the Government will “do whatever it takes to back British business”, adding: “Because I know when the recovery comes – and it will come – it will come entirely thanks to the efforts of the people who are watching us on this Zoom call today.”
But he cannot guarantee more measures may be needed.
He said after December 2 "we will then, I hope very much, be able to get this country going again, to get businesses, to get shops open again in the run up to Christmas.
"But that depends on us all doing our bit now to make sure that we get the R (value) down.
"I've no doubt that we can, and that we'll be able to go forward from December 2 with a very, very different approach – but, of course, it will be up to the House of Commons to decide, thereafter, what to do."
The rules will automatically expire at the end of the four weeks, and MPs would have to have another vote to extend them.
But Labour's Sir Keir Starmer said it would not be sensible to end the lockdown if the R rate was still above one.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the December 2 date for lifting the four-week lockdown is "written into law".
Asked on LBC radio whether people in England could mark the date of the end of the second national lockdown on their calendars, he said: "Put it in your diary, it is written into law."
NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said the health service has been preparing to administer any potential Covid-19 vaccine.
GPs will be "geared up to start by Christmas if the vaccine becomes available", he said.
Which businesses WILL be staying open through lockdown
THE following businesses are allowed to stay open during the second coronavirus lockdown in England:
- Food retailers
- Convenience stores and corner shops
- Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol including breweries
- Pharmacies and chemists
- Hardware stores
- Building merchants and building services
- Petrol stations
- Car repair and MOT services
- Bicycle shops
- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
- Building societies
- Credit unions
- Short term loan providers
- Savings clubs
- Cash points
- Currency exchanges
- Post offices
- Funeral directors
- Launderettes and dry cleaners
- Dental services
- Hearing services
- Mental health services
- Veterinary surgeons and pet shops
- Agricultural supplies shop
- Storage and distribution facilities
- Car parks
- Public toilets
- Garden centres
Q&A on the rules
HERE are answers to some of your questions on England’s new lockdown:
MY boyfriend and I live apart. Can we spend a night together?
NO, people from separate households will be banned from staying in someone else’s house.
I’VE been put on furlough at work. Will I still be eligible?
YES, you will get 80 per cent of your wages until December 2.
AM I able to meet my friend at a pub next Saturday?
NO, pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to operate a takeaway or delivery service.
CAN I meet up with my nan for a walk if it’s just us two?
YES, you can meet up with one person from another household if you are exercising.
CAN my kids’ 11-a-side under-14s football team still play?
NO, all outdoor team sports are KO’d — although the PM said the Premier League would continue.
CAN I still go to the cinema?
NO, all entertainment venues must close.
CAN my son go to primary school and daughter to nursery?
YES, schools, universities and nurseries will all stay open.
I’M a builder. Can I work?
YES, construction work is OK.
CAN I still holiday in Greece?
NO, all travel abroad is banned unless you must travel for work.
I’M a key worker. Can my mum still look after my daughter?
YES, support bubbles will remain in place.
I’M 82. Am I banned from going outdoors?
NO, but you are encouraged to only leave home if you have to.
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