New Forest MP Sir Desmond Swayne claims roads are 'killing more people than Covid' as he, Dr Julian Lewis and Sir Christopher Chope among band of Conservative Party rebels who vote against government's Plan B
IN HIS latest diatribe against the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions, Sir Desmond Swayne told Parliament the roads were currently more dangerous to people than the disease.
"Notwithstanding the carnage on our roads, which is certainly killing more people than Covid at the moment, some of us still decide to drive," he stressed, pointing out how we counter-act Covid-19 "comes down to a matter of opinion – a matter of our prejudice".
Government figures from 2020 revealed a total of 1,460 road deaths in Great Britain, while the Office for National Statistics said that in the year ending 4th December 2020, there were 69,771 mentions of Covid on death certificates in England and Wales alone.
Sir Desmond rebelled against all three extra measures - extending the requirement to wear facemasks, requiring NHS and social care staff to be vaccinated by April 2022 when the matters went to a Commons vote and introducing mandatory Covid passes for entry to nightclubs and large venues in England. Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope did the same.
New Forest East MP Julian Lewis was opposed to mandatory nightclub passes, but voted for the requirement NHS staff be vaccinated. He did not vote on extending facemask regulations, according to Hansard.
The trio cast votes last night (Tuesday) following a protracted and tetchy Commons debate on the government’s proposals to introduce more stringent, Covid-19 regulations following the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Eventually the Conservative government won all three votes comfortably because the Labour opposition voted mostly in support.
However, there were large-scale Tory rebellions on two of the votes, with more than 100 MPs going against policies promoted by their own side.
That has increased the pressure on Prime Minster Boris Johnson, who is already under pressure amid an investigation into alleged Christmas parties taking place in Downing Street last Christmas – which would have broken lockdown rules.
Hansard shows MPs voted 369-126 to approve the mandatory use of Covid passes for entry to nightclubs and large venues in England.
Meanwhile 441 against 41 voted to approve regulations to extend the requirement to wear face coverings to more indoor spaces in England – including museums and galleries.
It stated 385 versus 100 voted to approve regulations to require NHS and social care staff to be vaccinated by April 2022.