7 January 2021 | UK NEWS
Parliament has passed the third national lockdown with very little obstruction.
The lockdown measures, which have been in force since the beginning of the week, received overwhelming cross-party support in the Commons yesterday.
In total, 524 MPs voted for the new restrictions, while 16 voted against the measures. These included 12 Conservative MPs and 4 from the DUP.
The measures will see schools and businesses close for a number of months. In addition, the summer exams will not be taking place and instead students will receive grades based on their teachers’ assessments.
Boris Johnson faced a small rebellion from some of his party, although most of the Covid Recovery Group did back the legislation.
Members of the Covid Recovery Group did, however, question the length and exit strategy for the lockdown during the debates.
Lockdown-sceptic MP David Davis wrote on Twitter questioned the Government’s “exit strategy” and implied that the “exit criteria” were unclear at this stage.
MP Sir Desmond Swayne, however, went further, describing the situation as one of “state capture” and the introduction of lockdowns as a “failed policy”.
On the other hand, Labour joined the Conservatives in advocating for the latest lockdown, with Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth saying: ”This is a national emergency and a national lockdown is necessary.” He added that these measures should have come sooner.
The vote comes as the UK recorded a total of 1,041 people dying yesterday within 28 days of having a positive test.
This morning, Home Secretary Priti Patel reminded the nation on the Today programme that police would challenge people outside who did not appear to be exercising, with the power to impose fixed penalty notices.