Two Former Tory Leaders Refuse to Vote For England Lockdown

Two Former Tory Leaders Refuse to Vote For England Lockdown
In this file image, former Prime Minister Theresa May talks in the House of Commons on Nov. 4, 2020. (Parliament TV)
Simon Veazey

Former prime minister Theresa May abstained from today’s vote on a second national lockdown in England after hammering the government over the data analysis behind the measures.

She was one of 53 Conservative MPs who defied the party whips and refused to endorse the plans, which were voted through by 512 lawmakers, including all Labour MPs.

In total 21 Conservatives MPs abstained from the vote. Among the 32 Tory MPs voting “no” was another former party leader, Ian Duncan Smith.

The new measures restrict all but essential shopping in England, ban social mixing with more than one person from another household even outdoors, and will shut down pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, and gyms. Schools and Colleges will remain open.

The new rules start from midnight tonight.

Earlier, Duncan-Smith told MPs that the leaking of lockdown plans had hustled the government into an unnecessary, premature, and ill-informed decision.

The leak had “bounced” the government into a decision, he said. “I’d like to think that the Government would have then spent its time investigating the data that was being presented to them that has now subsequently unravelled in the last few days.”

The government and its scientific advisors have been under fire in recent days for one particular chart in which already-outdated modelling claimed there could be 4,000 deaths a day.

This controversy was also picked up May who accused the Government of choosing statistics to back up their plans, calling for them to publish the analysis that is driving the lockdown decision.

“It appears the decision to go towards this lockdown was partly, mainly, to some extent based on the prediction of 4,000 deaths a day,” May told the Commons.

Yesterday, the scientific advisors defended their use saying that they didn’t intend to frighten people and that the data was used in good faith.

They stressed the importance of six-week projections over longer-term scenarios, saying that the six-week forward projection suggested COVID hospitalisations would pass the first wave “towards the end of November.”

Like some other MPs, May also said that evidence showed that cases of CCP virus were falling across all ages in some areas of local lockdown, saying that there hadn’t been enough analysis of the effectiveness of current three-tier measures.

She said that there also had not been enough analysis of the broader costs of lockdown measures, such as impact on other health conditions, suicides, mental health, domestic violence as well as to the economy.

The running 28-day COVID-19 death toll today climbed to 492 people, up from 397 the previous day.

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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