Boris Johnson faces possible Tory revolt in vote on extending coronavirus restrictions


oris Johnson faces the prospect of a Tory rebellion when MPs are asked to approve the extension of coronavirus restrictions in England until July 19.

The House of Commons will vote on Wednesday evening on the four-week delay to the end of lockdown measures, aimed at buying more time for the vaccine programme.

Labour has signalled it will back the extension so the Prime Minister should be spared a defeat, but Conservative lockdown-sceptics are likely to express their anger during a debate.

Scientific advisers have said the delay is necessary to prevent a fresh spike in hospital admissions due to the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said it would take something “unprecedented and remarkable” for restrictions to be extended any further than July 19.

Mr Johnson will face Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, but it will be Health Secretary Matt Hancock who will open the debate on extending the restrictions.

Delays are also expected to hit Scotland after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the mainland’s move to the lowest level of restrictions will “likely” be delayed by three weeks.

The latest figures show 1,136 patients with Covid-19 were in hospital in the UK on June 13, an 18% rise from the previous week and the highest number since May 7.

Leaders in the hospitality sector have said they are “bitterly disappointed” by the delay and called for a postponement to the reintroduction of business rates payments to support struggling firms.

Meanwhile, reports suggested ministers will soon announce they will change the law to make vaccines mandatory for care home staff over concerns about take-up.


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