Johnson Faces Backlash Within Party Over Push for Vaccine Passport

By Web Staff
Web Staff
Web Staff
August 1, 2021 Updated: August 1, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing renewed backlash within his party over his plan to mandate domestic vaccine passports.

Johnson announced that he intends to change the rules in September so that only those who are fully vaccinated can attend nightclubs and other crowded venues.

The proposed rule goes further than the COVID-19 status certificates used at some mass events in recent months, with clubbers not allowed to use proof of a negative COVID-19 test or evidence of having had the virus to gain entry.

Andrew Bridgen, one of 43 Conservative MPs to sign a declaration opposing vaccine passports, said Parliament should be recalled from its summer recess if ministers are “serious” about asking people to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry to domestic venues and events.

“This is a very serious infringement on people’s liberties, it is basically unprecedented in this country, and I and a number of colleagues would oppose it,” Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, told LBC.

The call means cross-party backing is emerging for the Commons to return before September.

Last week, the Liberal Democrats said that a change rolled out to the NHS app—allowing users to prove they had been double-jabbed to access domestic settings as well as for international travel—warranted a recall.

Labour shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard, has said the party was “very cautious” about domestic COVID passports, with leader Sir Keir Starmer ruling out supporting them for use in “everyday life,” setting up the possibility of a government defeat on the policy.

Conservative grandee Sir David Lidington, who was de facto deputy prime minister under Theresa May, added his voice to growing numbers in the Tory Party who are concerned about the prospect of vaccine passports, which are being used in some European countries, including Denmark and France.

The former cabinet minister told Times Radio that introducing a “government certificate of approval” to access certain events would set a “dangerous precedent.”

Also speaking to LBC, professor of medical ethics Dominic Wilkinson said the idea of using COVID passes as a “stick to punish” those who have not yet opted to get vaccinated was “ethically flawed.”

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), about two-thirds of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received the first dose of a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine, while all adults had been offered the jab.

The government—touting its mass-vaccination program as the only way out of the pandemic—has started to use incentives to boost the take-up rate in addition to punishments.

Young people are offered vouchers and discounts for popular takeaways and taxi rides in exchange for getting a jab.

Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo, and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands that will be offering incentives to encourage youth to get inoculated, DHSC has announced.

Bridgen said he believes the government “moved on to this carrot inducements for young people” because the vaccine passport mandate wouldn’t “get through the House of Commons in any event.”

The government has said it wouldn’t mandate vaccination for employment but would let employers decide if they want to make their staff take the shot to keep their jobs.

Dr. Anthony Hinton, a consultant surgeon who worked for the NHS for 30 years, told NTD that it’s not a smart policy.

Whether or not to take a vaccine “must be people’s individual decision up to discussion and medical advice,” Hinton told NTD on Friday.

Hinton said the idea of vaccine passports is “ridiculous” because it “doesn’t work logically, medically anyway,” citing Health Secretary Sajid Javid as an example.

Javid, who has been fully vaccinated, recently caught COVID-19. The prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak both went into self-isolation for being in contact with the health secretary.

Apart from the logic of the vaccine passports, “it’s very discriminatory, and it’s open to all sorts of future abuses by governments,” Hinton said.

NTD reporter Jane Werrell and PA contributed to this report.

Web Staff