Mansfield MP to vote against the Government and its new Covid restrictions

Mansfield’s MP has pledged to vote against the Government’s new Covid restrictions when the come before Parliament – and said reintroducing further measures is a ‘slippery slope’.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:58 pm

Ben Bradley is one of a number of backbench Conservative MPs speaking out after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced ‘Plan B’ to tackle a rise in Covid cases and the threat of the Omicron variant.

The new measures will reintroduce the requirement to work from home ‘if you can’, from Monday, December 13, alongside a return of masks in most indoor public spaces including theatres and cinemas from Friday.

They also include use of the NHS Covid Pass – proving vaccination status or a negative lateral flow test – for entry to venues such as nightclubs, as well as daily tests for contacts of people with the Omicron variant, rather than isolation.

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Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP.

Mr Johnson also suggested there should be a “national conversation” about the introduction of compulsory vaccinations.

However, Mr Bradley said he cannot support the measures, saying there is no evidence to suggest the need for tighter restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, describing measures like vaccine passports and mandatory jabs as restricting ‘peoples’ freedoms’.

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This is despite Prof Chris Whitty, the country’s chief medical officer, confirming there have been 568 cases of the Omicron variant and suggesting there will be a lag before it begins to impact hospitalisations.

He said Omicron is doubling ‘every two to three days’, much faster than the previous Delta variant, with evidence in South Africa showing a big increase in hospital admissions once the new strain takes hold.

But Mr Bradley said: “I don’t see how you can justify restrictions ‘just in case’, and if that’s going to be your argument, how long does that go on for, and how many times do we go along this loop?

“I worry it’s a bit of a slippery slope. Precautions are one thing, but when you start to restrict peoples’ freedoms, like with vaccine passports, you need pretty good data and evidence to support it.

“There are clearly risks and there always will be risks for as long as there is Covid, but we can’t keep turning the taps on and off.”

MPs are expected to vote on the new restrictions on Tuesday, December 14.

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