Published: 05:00, 14 December 2021
| Updated: 15:55, 14 December 2021
Several Kent MPs are expected to be among dozens planning to defy the Prime Minister over new Covid restrictions today. 14th
MPs are due to vote on the 'Plan B' measures later and the government is expected to survive the revolt with the support of Labour.
However, the size of the rebellion will be seen as further evidence of disquiet among many MPs at the way the government has been handling the issue.
The Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark, the former business minister, is expected to be among those opposing some of the measures.
He is reported to have said that the government had “jumped the gun” in choosing to act before more was known about the impact Omicron could have on hospital admissions.
Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay, who has been a long-standing critic of the government, issued a lengthy statement explaining why he opposed the latest lockdown measures.
"On many practical grounds, as well as wider concerns about the libertarian aspects of our relationship as free citizens versus the state, I have always questioned the usefulness of vaccine passports as a condition of entry.
"This is particularly so given that vaccinations do not prevent entirely the likelihood of getting infected, however mild that might be after vaccination, nor the likelihood of transmitting Covid. "If these measures were closer to 100% then a more valid case might be made," he said.
"While I am a huge supporter of our excellent Covid vaccines and the world-leading way in which they have been rolled out, I am implacably opposed to vaccine certification and, indeed, any form of mandation in a free society."
However, there was support for the government’s approach to head off the spread of the new strain of the virus from other MPs.
“I will be supporting the extra measures being put in place. Quite frankly I don't see them as being too onerous. Most people are already wearing masks in any case; as to Covid ‘social’ passes, most nightclubs are already doing this and implementing restrictions; so frankly I don’t see anything to object to.”
A large-scale rebellion would heap further pressure on Boris Johnson.