Tory MPs in bid to increase scrutiny over coronavirus lockdown rules

A move by Tory MPs to increase scrutiny of the Government’s coronavirus lockdown measures has gained increasing support.

Influential Tory Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs, has brought forward an amendment that would force a parliamentary debate and vote on such measures in future.

More than 40 Conservative MPs have expressed backing for Sir Graham’s move, which would be enough to challenge the Government’s majority if they voted the amendment through if it is selected by the Commons Speaker next week.

Senior Tory backbencher Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said he was supporting the bid, saying: “It is because the Government doesn’t allow Parliament to have scrutiny over these quite severe coronavirus measures. It is just simply putting them through by statutory instruments.

“We want a debate and a vote on the floor of the House.”

He added: “It’s disgraceful really that really very far-reaching powers, curtailing people’s civil liberties, have just been pushed through without a proper debate in Parliament.”

Tory former minister Tobias Ellwood also backed the move, tweeting: “6 months ago we hoped/expected to be out of the woods by now. Instead we brace ourselves for another 6 months.

“But this time let’s allow Parliamentary oversight to return. I hope Government agrees and offers to amend the Coronavirus Act in this spirit.”


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