East Devon MP votes AGAINST Covid passes for large events
- Credit: Parliament TV
New rules requiring 'Covid passes' for entry to venues such as nightclubs, sporting fixtures and other large events have come into force in England - despite a large rebellion among Conservative MPs in Parliament.
A vote over the introduction of the measure on Tuesday (December 14) saw 99 Conservatives rebel against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new rules, part of the Government's Plan B effort to tackle a surge in cases of the Omicron variant.
Among those to rebel over the pass was East Devon MP, Simon Jupp, who fulfilled his pledge to oppose the measure, which means people must prove they have had two doses of a vaccine, or a recent negative test.
However, the rebellion was not enough to see off the move, with the vote passing by 369 to 126 after Labour MPs voted with the Government.
A separate vote, on the re-introduction of rules requiring a facemask be worn in public places, passed by 441 to 41, with 38 Tory rebels.
Mr Jupp did not vote on that measure.
Prior to the vote, which has been seen as a rebuke to the Prime Minister in the wake of controversies over standards and claims of Number 10 breaching Covid rules last Christmas, Mr Jupp outlined his opposition to Plan B.
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“Vaccine passports are divisive and discriminatory. They do not stop the spread of Covid. Plan B will cost jobs in many sectors, including hospitality," he said.
"Working from home won’t help our social or economic recovery.
“I won’t vote for these measures.”
Meanwhile, MPs also backed a move to implement compulsory vaccinations for NHS workers in England.
The votes came amid warnings the NHS could be overwhelmed next month, a leading scientist has said, due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Professor Graham Medley, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he is worried “we could see numbers of people being admitted to hospital getting very large” if infections continue to rise and spill into older age groups.
It came as Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, told MPs the Omicron coronavirus variant is “probably the most significant threat we’ve had since the start of the pandemic”.