THREE Devon Tory MPs say they won’t support the new covid rules announced by the government as part of ‘Plan B’.
Newton Abbot’s Anne Marie Morris, East Devon’s Simon Jupp and Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall criticised the new measures, which include people being asked to work from home from Monday if possible.
Face masks will become compulsory in most public places again, as part of new rules to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, and covid passes will be required for entry into nightclubs and large venues. They can be obtained by having two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test.
However, Ms Morris slammed the new measures. In a statement, she said: ‘There is no evidence that it is necessary. Hospital admissions remain stable despite increased infection rates. The damage to people’s health particularly mental health is being ignored.
‘This will likely make people think twice about going to their doctor or hospital for fear of infection, building a new backlog of serious cases that could have been dealt with earlier with better health outcomes.
‘And the rules themselves are nonsensical! You can’t work together but you can party together! The tragedy is it brings back a sense of fear sucking the joy out of Christmas.
‘We had already seen parties and events cancelled, children’s plays cancelled. This will only get worse. The hospitality sector will miss out on the usual bonanza Christmas brings and helps them through a quiet January,’ Ms Morris said.
However, at a press conference on Wednesday, the prime minister said it was not necessary to cancel Christmas parties or nativty plays.
Ms Morris’s failure to back Mr Johnson’s plan is shared by East Devon’s Conservative MP Simon Jupp. In a statement posted on Twitter, he said: ‘I don’t support Plan B.
‘Vaccine passports are divisive and discriminatory. They do not stop the spread of covid. Plan B will cost jobs in many sectors, including hospitality. Working from home won’t help our social or economic recovery.
‘I won’t vote for these measures.’
Totnes Tory Anthony Mangnall also objected to Plan B on Twitter, saying: ‘Just to be clear – I will not be voting for the new covid measures. They are completely farcical, unnecessary and impractical.’
In response to someone criticising his decision, Mr Mangnall replied: ‘I can drink with a colleague, sing with a colleague, eat with a colleague but not go to work with them…’
He then added: ‘Also of course I will be following the rules, regardless of how I feel.’
Exeter’s Labour MP Ben Bradshaw expressed doubts over the new guidelines but said he would be ‘studying the details of these measures before deciding how to vote.’
In a statement, he explained: ‘Face coverings on public transport and in enclosed public spaces should not have been scrapped in the first place, but some of the measures, like working from home, but still going to office parties don’t seem to make sense.
‘Now Omicron is spreading quickly here, the travel restrictions are pointless and only inflict further needless damage on the transport sector and misery to families separated.
‘This feels like a knee-jerk response from a prime minister who has lost all moral authority because of the illegal Downing Street parties and the repeated lies that have been told about them.’