Home   Kent   News   Article

Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay defies government in vote over extension of emergency powers during pandemic for an extra six months


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A Kent MP says has defied his government over the extension of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic that means they will stay in place for a further six months.

Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay, who has previously opposed lockdown measures, said he feared extending the powers would lead only to more pressure on the NHS because it would deter patients from going to hospitals for treatments, other than for coronavirus.

Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay
Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay

The government won a vote in the Commons this afternoon over legislation on tackling the pandemic, by 484 votes in favour to 76 against.

But Mr Mackinlay, a member of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative backbench MPs, said: “I have had concerns that the road map is a little slow.

"Another six-month extension seems totally unnecessary.

"We are in a far better place than we were last March when the coronavirus struck.

“I want to see things open up as rapidly as possible, not least because there are important personal freedoms.

"I do not believe in taking away people's right to eat together or meet unless there is a very good reason for it."

"There are many corollaries around the economy.

"There are mental health issues here for both young and old and there are other health factors which are not being addressed properly because people are fearful of going to medical services.

"This is not just about Covid-19. I am a libertarian Conservative - I do not believe in taking away people's right to eat together or meet unless there is a very good reason for it.

"Now we are in a better place.”

The government was expected to win the vote, and it was backed by Labour, with shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth saying his party did so "without any enthusiasm or relish".

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More