Covid lockdown OFFICIAL: Boris Johnson sees off small Tory rebellion

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Boris Johnson noticed off his Tory critics tonight as MPs voted the newest strict lockdown measures into regulation.

The Prime Minister noticed off a small riot by backbenchers who accused him of launching an ‘assault on liberty and livelihoods’ as they warned lockdown will inevitably trigger some folks to ‘break’. 

However with Labour vowing to again the Authorities, the end result was at all times a foregone conclusion and the brand new laws have been handed by 524 votes to 16, a majority of 508. 

Twelve Tories voted in opposition to the Authorities, together with Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, and former ministers Esther McVey and Desmond Swayne.

 Mr Johnson had earlier warned there is not going to be a ‘huge bang’ launch from the newest nationwide lockdown subsequent month.

The Prime Minister’s nationwide shutdown, which features a strict keep at residence message and the closure of faculties, is because of be reviewed in the course of February however the legal guidelines underpinning it aren’t as a consequence of expire till the tip of March.

Mr Johnson stated he hopes the principles can begin to be lifted within the spring however he has failed to present a agency dedication, fuelling Tory fears that the restrictions could possibly be in place far longer than the preliminary seven weeks.

Mr Johnson confused that when guidelines are eased there shall be a ‘gradual unwrapping’ of lockdown fairly than an instantaneous finish as he dashed hopes of a swift return to regular life.

Police as we speak bought robust on Covid lawbreakers, with 28 protesters arrested for flouting restrictions, 4 males fined £800 for travelling in the identical automotive on their solution to McDonald’s and officers even stopping motorists to ask ‘why are you right here?’

There was fury additionally aimed toward Schooling Secretary Gavin Williamson as we speak as he confirmed that GCSE and A-level exams in the summertime shall be changed by teacher-assessed grades.

MPs, unions and fogeys hit out after he made the announcement however failed to clarify how the system would work and be sure that outcomes given to pupils have been honest – after with instructing time badly hit by closures. 

Britain as we speak breached 1,000 day by day coronavirus deaths for the primary time since April and declared one other record-high variety of circumstances with 62,322 extra optimistic exams.

Division of Well being knowledge reveals as we speak’s grim determine of 1,041 laboratory-confirmed deaths — solely the tenth time the UK has topped the grisly milestone — is UK’s highest day by day rely since April 21. And specialists worry the loss of life toll will proceed to spiral according to hovering circumstances over the previous three weeks as a result of fatalities lag behind infections by a number of weeks due to how lengthy it takes for sufferers to grow to be severely sick.

Statistics additionally present it’s the third day in a row that Britain has posted a record-high variety of circumstances, following on from the 60,916 introduced yesterday and the 58,784 the day earlier than. The determine can also be 24.6 per cent up on final Wednesday’s rely of fifty,023.

The stunning figures underline the seriousness of the scenario Britain finds itself in and are available after Boris Johnson desperately tried to win over livid Tory MPs as he defended his new nationwide coronavirus lockdown and insisted he had ‘no selection’ however to impose robust new draconian curbs.

In one other day of coronavirus anger and despair:  

  • Britain’s COVID crackdown started as footage confirmed masked cops handcuffing pensioners and protesters ‘breaking lockdown guidelines’, with cops stopping vehicles to quiz drivers;
  • Former prime minister Tony Blair stated the UK must dramatically speed up its Covid vaccination scheme so as to carry lockdown guidelines within the spring, saying it was ‘not difficult’ to ramp-up the programme;
  • Matt Hancock stated academics have a ‘very robust case’ to be subsequent in line to obtain the coronavirus vaccine, because the Well being Secretary informed MPs ministers are presently contemplating the remainder of the precedence order;  
  • A GP on the frontline of Britain’s coronavirus vaccine push revealed medical doctors have nonetheless not acquired doses that have been imagined to arrive final month, amid fears Boris Johnson has over-promised along with his pledge;
  • Europe’s drug regulator authorised Moderna’s Covid vaccine and can get provides from subsequent week because of a deal it struck in summer season final 12 months — however Britain will miss out and will not get any till the spring; 
  • The World Well being Group refused to present its blessing to Britain’s controversial plan to area the 2 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by greater than a month;
  • Boris Johnson was accused of leaving a ‘substantial hole within the nation’s defences’ in opposition to coronavirus by delaying guidelines on folks needing a unfavorable check earlier than getting into the UK;
  • Gavin Williamson was below stress to clarify how academics will be capable of precisely grade GCSEs and A-levels for pupils after the 2021 exams have been cancelled as a consequence of Covid;
  • Politicians and specialists blasted China for refusing entry to members of a World Well being Group(WHO) group being despatched to the nation to research the origins of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Medical doctors could should determine which severely sick sufferers to deal with primarily based on a ‘lottery’ if the NHS is overwhelmed this winter below draft Covid rationing plans;
  • The organiser of Clap for Carers is asking for a return to the weekly spherical of applause throughout England’s third nationwide lockdown – ranging from 8pm tomorrow.
Mr Johnson had earlier warned there will not be a 'big bang' release from the latest national lockdown next month

Mr Johnson had earlier warned there is not going to be a ‘huge bang’ launch from the newest nationwide lockdown subsequent month

Above are the locations of the seven mass vaccination centres that will begin operating from next week. They were revealed today by the Prime Minister

Above are the areas of the seven mass vaccination centres that may start working from subsequent week. They have been revealed as we speak by the Prime Minister

The doughty dozen 

Twelve Tory MPs voted in opposition to Boris Johnson’s lockdown tonight. They have been:

Graham Brady 

Philip Davies 

Richard Drax 

Karl McCartney 

Stephen McPartland 

Esther McVey  

Anne Marie Morris 

Andrew Rosindell 

Desmond Swayne 

Robert Syms 

Charles Walker 

David Warburton 

The Prime Minister earlier informed a recalled Home of Commons that his hand had been compelled after a brand new variant of the illness was discovered to be spreading with ‘horrifying ease’.

Mr Johnson stated No10’s mass inoculation programme meant practically one quarter of over-80s had already acquired jabs and England had vaccinated extra folks ‘than in the remainder of Europe mixed’. He stated knowledge recommended one in 50 persons are contaminated confirmed it’s ‘inescapable that the information are altering’ and the Authorities’s response needed to comply with swimsuit. 

The PM resisted calls from Tory MPs to ensure the principles will begin to be eased after the primary evaluate on February 15, fuelling fears the shutdown could final far longer than the preliminary seven-week interval. Tory backbenchers slammed the PM’s ‘malicious’ lockdown and accused him of an ‘assault on liberty and livelihoods’ as they demanded an exit technique.

The PM stated he hoped measures will be capable of be lifted within the spring however warned there is not going to be a ‘huge bang’ out of lockdown, fairly a ‘gradual unwrapping’.

A livid Sir Desmond Swayne blasted the restrictions, telling Mr Johnson: ‘Pubs cannot compete with supermarkets for off gross sales, even inside a family you may’t play tennis or golf. 

‘However the assault on liberty and livelihoods, why are these laws pervaded by a pettifogging malice?’ 

Mr Johnson replied: ‘Pettifogging, sure, malicious, no. I’m going to should take the hit right here, the intention is to cease the virus, shield the NHS and to save lots of lives.

Boris Johnson below hearth over delayed border testing plan

Boris Johnson was below stress as we speak to kind out plans to demand folks have a unfavorable Covid check end result earlier than they enter Britain. 

Ministers have indicated that such a requirement is coming in a bid to dam any inflow of latest variants of coronavirus after a South African pressure was discovered within the UK.

However no agency particulars have but been launched and the Prime Minister got here below hearth within the Commons as we speak over when they are going to be introduced in and the way a lot discover shall be given. 

It got here as new figures from Labour confirmed that simply three in each 100 folks arriving within the UK are being checked to see if they’re complying with quarantine necessities.

Shadow residence secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to Priti Patel to demand ‘an pressing evaluate and enchancment plan of quarantine preparations’. 

He claimed the present system of checking up on solely a fraction of individuals is leaving the UK ‘defenceless and fully uncovered’ to importing coronavirus variants. 

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer took goal on the PM within the Commons as we speak as politicians returned to vote on the brand new lockdown guidelines.

‘The Prime Minister is aware of there may be actual concern concerning the fast transmission of this illness. There are new strains being detected in South Africa, Denmark and elsewhere. The quarantine system isn’t working,’ Sir Keir stated.

‘The Prime Minister stated yesterday that we are going to be bringing in additional measures on the border. I’ve to ask, why are these measures not launched already? They’ve been briefed to the media for days however nothing has occurred.’

Mr Johnson gave no particulars and solely supplied a bland assertion, saying: ‘I believe it’s vital we shield our borders and shield this nation from the readmission of the virus from abroad and that’s the reason we took robust motion in respect of South Africa when the brand new variant turned obvious there and we’ll proceed to take no matter motion is important to guard this nation from the readmission of the virus.’  

‘To do this we now have to have interaction in limiting transmission between human beings.’ 

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, stated ‘many’ MPs are involved at being requested to approve a lockdown which might final till the tip of March.

Talking within the Commons he stated: ‘I welcome the Prime Minister’s assurance that this Home shall be consulted on the lifting of restrictions, ought to it’s attainable earlier than the tip of March, however can I say to him that many people are involved at being requested to approve a lockdown which might proceed till March 31.

‘Can I ask (Mr Johnson) to rethink and to supply the Home a vote on the finish of January and on the finish of February as properly, not on whether or not to carry restrictions, however on whether or not to proceed them or not?’

Well being Secretary Matt Hancock ducked calls for to present a agency finish level for lockdown as he recommended that even when the vaccine rollout occurs by mid-February, curbs may need to remain if deaths don’t fall.

The Well being Secretary got here below hearth from his personal aspect as he kicked off the controversy on the laws underpinning the brutal squeeze – which has already come into impact.

Mr Hancock confronted repeated calls to present ensures concerning the size of the restrictions, after it emerged they won’t expire till March 31 regardless of Mr Johnson vowing to get greater than 13million weak Britons vaccinated by the center of subsequent month.

As Mr Hancock opened the controversy on the lockdown, Sir Graham intervened to say: ‘Approving these laws as we speak would enable for lockdown for 3 months till the tip of March.’

Sir Graham stated the PM had assured him he didn’t count on MPs to should ‘wait that lengthy’ for a possibility to determine whether or not or to not finish the laws.

Sir Graham added: ‘Will he go additional and provides a dedication to an additional vote on the finish of January and finish of February, so this Home could have management over what is occurring?’ 

However whereas he insisted the Authorities doesn’t ‘count on’ the blanket restrictions to final for 3 months, the Cupboard minister refused to say they may positively be lifted at that stage.

He additionally hedged when he was challenged by Mark Harper, head of the CRG group of lockdown-sceptic Conservatives, that there could possibly be no ‘attainable purpose’ for sustaining lockdown after the 4 most weak classes of persons are vaccinated.

‘Now we have to see the affect of that vaccination on the discount within the variety of deaths, which I very a lot hope that we are going to see at that time, and so that’s the reason we’ll take this – an evidence-led transfer down by means of the tiers, once we’ve damaged the hyperlink, I hope, between circumstances and hospitalisations and deaths,’ Mr Hancock stated.

‘We might want to see these numbers of – we might want to see the safety in actuality, in lived actuality on the bottom, however we’ll watch this like a hawk and my goal is to maintain these restrictions in place not a second longer than they’re needed.’   

Conservative chairman of the Education Committee Robert Halfon (above)  demanded assurance that the standard of grades would be maintained. He said it was vital there was a 'level playing field for disadvantaged children' and a fair appeals process.

Conservative chairman of the Schooling Committee Robert Halfon (above)  demanded assurance that the usual of grades could be maintained. He stated it was very important there was a ‘degree enjoying subject for deprived kids’ and a good appeals course of.

Charlotte Rose assists one of her children, who is being home schooled in Milton Keynes today

Charlotte Rose assists one among her kids, who’s being residence schooled in Milton Keynes as we speak

The 25 per cent of deaths caused by Covid-19 (shown graph right) is the highest proportion so far during the second wave, and it means that the total number of people to have died in that week is significantly higher than at the same time in previous years (graph left)

The 25 per cent of deaths brought on by Covid-19 (proven graph proper) is the very best proportion to date throughout the second wave, and it signifies that the overall variety of folks to have died in that week is considerably increased than on the identical time in earlier years (graph left)

GP dispensing Covid jab says they’ve had NO doses regardless of being ‘raring to go’

A GP on the frontline of Britain’s nice coronavirus vaccine push has revealed medical doctors have nonetheless not acquired doses that have been imagined to arrive final month, amid fears Boris Johnson has over-promised along with his pledge to jab 13million Brits and finish lockdown by March.

Dr Rosemary Leonard, an NHS household physician who works in South London, stated her practices have been ‘raring to go’ and had been ready on their first batch of vaccinations since December 28.

However she claimed the supply date has been pushed again 3 times already, with the primary doses no longer as a consequence of arrive till January 15, greater than a fortnight late.

Dr Leonard, who additionally writes a column for the Each day Specific newspaper, warned the vaccine roll out was turning into a ‘postcode lottery for sufferers’, and believes the delay is the results of ‘central provide points’.

Regardless of being simply days into the rollout of the Oxford vaccine, there has already been finger-pointing between the Authorities, regulators and the jab’s producer AstraZeneca over who’s in charge for the delays.

Matt Hancock and NHS bosses have recommended manufacturing has been too gradual, whereas the Prime Minister has blamed the UK’s stringent batch testing guidelines which imply each ship of vaccine must be high quality checked.

It comes as impartial pharmacists begged the Authorities to let small chains dish out vaccinations to assist Quantity 10 fulfill its bold vaccine guarantees, which would require jabbing a mammoth 3million Brits every week.

MailOnline has spoken to at the very least half a dozen membership our bodies which declare there are 11,000 pharmacies ‘prepared, keen and in a position’ to help within the rollout of the programme. They are saying they’re being held again by extra Authorities purple tape.

The Met Police detained 21 protesters at an anti-lockdown rally in Parliament Sq. this afternoon, whereas an additional seven folks have been hauled away from an indication outdoors Julian Assange’s bail listening to and now face fines of as much as £6,400. 

In Northampton, a gaggle of mates have been pulled over at 5am and slapped with a £800 penalty discover for being in the identical automotive regardless of being from completely different households – breaching lockdown guidelines that got here into drive at midnight. 

In the meantime, Thames Valley Police has apologised for the behaviour of an officer who they stated was ‘a bit eager’ in handing out leaflets asking drivers to clarify why they have been out and about as a part of a crackdown on journey throughout lockdown in rich Maidenhead. 

The Met Police rolled out among the hardest anti-Covid measures as we speak, asserting that anybody caught not sporting a face masks in a store or on public transport could be fined £200. Nonetheless, the penalties is not going to be given on the spot and folks shall be allowed a short while body with which to supply a physician’s letter.  

Mr Williamson was below stress tonight to clarify how academics will be capable of precisely grade GCSEs and A-levels for pupils after the 2021 exams have been cancelled as a consequence of Covid.  

Pupils haven’t been in a position to sit mock exams due to the lockdown and final 12 months’s closures imply they’ve had solely a single time period of in-person instructing in lecture rooms within the present tutorial 12 months. 

Final month, Mr Williamson gave an ‘completely’ cast-iron assure that exams in England wouldn’t be cancelled this tutorial 12 months, after the shambled that surrounded grades final summer season.

Conservative chairman of the Schooling Committee Robert Halfon demanded  assurance that the usual of grades could be maintained.

He stated it was very important there was a ‘degree enjoying subject for deprived kids’ and a good appeals course of.

He added: ‘Will he guarantee that there are impartial assessors, maybe retired academics or Ofsted inspectors, to supply a examine and stability for every assessed grade awarded? 

‘Will he do every thing attainable to make sure academics and help workers are given precedence for vaccinations alongside NHS staff so we are able to get our colleges open once more sooner fairly than later?’    

Geoff Barton, basic secretary of the Affiliation of Faculty and School Leaders (ASCL) stated there could possibly be no ‘ repeat of the shambles of final summer season’.

‘The Schooling Secretary’s imprecise assertion doesn’t take us an incredible deal additional ahead aside from to set out the broad parameters for the examination regulator Ofqual to work out an in depth plan,’ he stated.

‘It’s irritating that there’s not an off-the-shelf Plan B able to go. Now we have repeatedly known as on the Authorities and the regulator to arrange such a plan within the occasion of exams being cancelled, and have repeatedly supplied to work with them in doing so.

‘Nonetheless, ministers have been so busy insisting that exams will happen that they’ve failed to make sure that there’s a contingency system which will be instantly rolled out. That is, frankly, a dereliction of obligation.’ 



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