May 20, 2022

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PM to face pressure not to extend lockdown as rebel Tory MPs launch project group

PM to face pressure not to extend lockdown as rebel Tory MPs launch project group
Rebel Tory MPs opposed to England's national lockdown have formed a powerful new campaign group to turn up the heat on Boris Johnson and his stance on COVID-19.Ominously for the prime minister, they are led by a former chief whip Mark Harper, and Brexiteer Steve Baker, mastermind of parliamentary guerrilla campaigns. And in a move…

Rebel Tory MPs opposed to England’s nationwide lockdown have formed an effective new campaign group to show up the heat on Boris Johnson and his position on COVID-19

Ominously for the prime minister, they are led by a previous chief whip Mark Harper, and Brexiteer Steve Baker, mastermind of parliamentary guerrilla projects.

And in a relocation that will call alarm bells in Downing Street, the group likewise includes Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs.

Mark Harper MP Pic: UK Parliament

Previous primary whip Mark Harper belongs to the group. Photo: UK Parliament

The new group, primarily made up of Tory MPs who rebelled in the Commons vote last week to authorize the present lockdown, is calling itself the COVID Recovery Group.

The MPs prepare to challenge clinical suggestions supplied by federal government medics and will project to defeat any effort by Mr Johnson to extend the coronavirus lockdown when it ends on 2 December

Mr Harper, who chairs the new group, stated: “Last week I voted against a Conservative federal government for only the 2nd time in my fifteen years in Parliament, which was hard for a former chief whip.

” Lockdowns cost lives, whether in undiagnosed cancer treatments, weakening mental health, and missed A&E appointments – not to discuss the impact it has on young people’s education, task prospects and our skyrocketing debts.

” The cure we’re recommending risks of being even worse than the illness.

” The COVID Recovery Group will play its part in helping the government to provide an enduring technique for dealing with the virus, so that we break the transmission of the disease, command public support, end this terrible cycle of repeated restrictions and begin residing in a sustainable way until an efficient and safe vaccine is effectively presented throughout the population.”

Mr Baker, MP and deputy chairman of the group, added: “This has to do with guaranteeing that our reaction to COVID is reasonable and balanced, taking account of the non-COVID health and financial consequences of restrictions and not being driven by panic.


Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers leaves 10 Downing Street, London.

Sir Graham Brady is also part of the COVID Healing Group

” We should discover a more sustainable way of leading our lives up until a vaccine is presented, instead of throwing our success away by closing down and ruining our economy, and ignoring the untold health repercussions brought on by lockdowns and restrictions.

” The country is sobbing out for a radically various and enduring technique for coping with the virus and the COVID Recovery Group will help the federal government in leading the UK out of the coronavirus crisis and into a positive future.”

Other rebels on the new campaign’s steering group include Adam Afriyie, Chris Green, who stopped as a junior ministerial aide over lockdown procedures, Philip Hollobone, Sir Robert Syms and William Wragg.

Along with rebels, the guiding group also consists of Dr Ben Spencer, a psychiatrist who is MP for previous Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Surrey stockbroker belt seat of Runnymede and Weybridge, and ex-ministers Harriett Baldwin and Nus Ghani.

Introducing the group, the MPs have published what they call 3 Assisting Concepts, in which they are getting in touch with the federal government to:

  • Undertake and release full cost-benefit analysis of restrictions on a local basis
  • End the monopoly on guidance of government scientists
  • Improve the procedures we currently need to take on the virus, consisting of significantly increasing the performance of NHS Test and Trace by shifting resources to local public health teams to lead contact tracing and break the chain of transmission, and broadening the NHS’ surge capacity.

The MPs claim: “Lockdowns and constraints cost lives, push death and suffering into the future and cause tremendous economic, social and non-COVID health damage.

” Even a Department of Health and Social Care report has actually revealed that the first lockdown caused more cancer deaths, degrading psychological health and lots of other social harms.

” Along with prioritising the treatment of patients for COVID-19, we should give equal regard to the most lethal killers we face today – cancer, dementia, heart problem, and, for under 40 s, suicide, to people’s mental health, and the health implications and consequent mortality of falling GDP.

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” MPs should be in a position to evaluate the relative health ramifications on both sides of the argument of duplicated limitations with a view to removing them right away if it can not be proved that they are saving more lives than they cost.”

On scientific advice, the MPs claim: “We should allow dominating skilled scientific opinion to be challenged by competitive, multi-disciplinary expert groups – with difficulties from devil’s advocate ‘red groups’ – and release the models that inform policies so they can be examined by the public.

” We have actually recently seen the modelling for coronavirus fatalities challenged and took apart due to their usage of outdated data.

And on test and trace, the MPs grumble: “The existing test and trace system has actually been reaching just 48%of the contacts of those who have actually evaluated positive and improvement is required.

” The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies says that for the system to be efficient, it requires to reach 80%.

” During lockdown we must change the effectiveness of NHS Test and Trace so that we have another tool to help avoid repeated cycles of damaging lockdowns and constraints.”

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