UK Ministerial Aide Resigns Over Lockdown Measures

UK Ministerial Aide Resigns Over Lockdown Measures
A man wearing a mask walks near an electronic road sign reading "Stop a Bolton Lockdown" in Bolton town centre, northwest England, on Oct. 7, 2020. (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
Simon Veazey

A Conservative MP has resigned as a ministerial aide in protest of the UK government’s pandemic lockdown policies, saying that the “attempted cure is worse than the disease.”

Chris Green said that the measures covering his constituency of Bolton had failed to control the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Green said that hospital referrals had dropped by 20,000 compared to the previous year because people were “too frightened” of accessing “vital treatment.”

“We are creating many other health problems that are leading to pain, suffering, and death,” Green wrote in his Oct. 13 resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He had served as parliamentary private secretary to the leader of the House of Lords—a junior governmental role. His resignation came the day after Johnson announced a new nationwide tiered system for managing the pandemic.

Those measures include more stringent curbs on pubs, restaurants, and cafes for many areas.

“The closure of pubs, restaurants, and cafes, combined with the reduction of footfall on our high streets, has brought many family-owned businesses in my constituency to the brink of collapse and pushed others over the edge,” Green wrote.

He said that the damage to health and livelihoods would be justified if the CCP virus had lived up to the initial threat assessment.

“We have learnt so much since it first emerged. I now believe that the attempted cure is worse than the disease and that this second 6-month phase will not see the delivery of a solution via mass vaccination.”

Bolton is in Tier 2 of the new system, meaning people can’t meet with friends in pubs and bars, unless they share a household or bubble.

Other Conservative MPs and officials have also voiced concern over the new plans.

Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street waits to speak to TV crews at the Barclaycard Arena in central Birmingham, England, on May 5, 2017. (Geoff Caddick/AFP via Getty Images)
Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street waits to speak to TV crews at the Barclaycard Arena in central Birmingham, England, on May 5, 2017. (Geoff Caddick/AFP via Getty Images)
Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said on Oct. 14 that the decision to put the region into Tier 2 restrictions will “critically affect businesses in the hospitality sector.”

Street said that many businesses will now have to resort to redundancies, risking a “domino-effect” across the local economy.

He called on the central government to provide economic support to the local hospitality sector, alongside tax relief.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Oct. 13 that the city would likely enter Tier 2 measures within days.

It emerged earlier this week that the new three-tier approach to handling the CCP virus was not the approach recommended by SAGE, the government advisory group.

They had recommended a controversial so-called circuit-breaker national lockdown, to create a break in transmission.

Labour leader Kier Starmer on Oct. 13 called on the government to adopt the circuit-breaker lockdown.

The prime minister has conceded such measures may be needed in the future.

According to a snap poll on Oct. 12, 40 percent of the public would support tougher measures, with only 15 percent saying they went too far.
Another survey found that 54 percent think the government should have followed SAGE advice with a three-week lockdown in September. In another YouGov survey, 65 percent said that they would support a two-week lockdown.

The number of deaths involving the CCP virus has risen for the fourth week in a row in England and Wales, according to official statistics, with “novel coronavirus” mentioned in 321 death registrations.

That’s an increase of 106 from the previous week’s figures, according to an Oct. 13 statement from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on various beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.
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