Boris Johnson ‘in more trouble than he realises’ as 100 Tories threaten tier revolt
Boris Johnson will have a fight on his hands as 100 Tory MPs threaten to vote against him (Image: PA)
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Boris Johnson is facing his biggest rebellion yet as 100 Tory MPs threaten to vote against his strict new tiers.
And yesterday the PM promoted one of his tier critics as Covid jabs minister to shut him up.
Business minister Nadhim Zahawi will now be in charge of vaccine rollout under Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Last week, the Stratford-on-Avon Tory said he was “hugely disappointed” that his area was moving into Tier 3 and would push for Tier 2 status at the next review.
Mr Zahawi’s appointment followed calls from Labour for just such a minister.
Nadhim Zahawi is now in charge of vaccine rollout
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Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “We now need a mass public health campaign urging uptake of the vaccine, and the resources to rapidly roll it out.”
As more Tories joined the 70 rebels on the so-called Covid Recovery Group, former First Secretary Damian Green said: “The Government are in more trouble than they realise. These decisions have enraged a lot of Tory heartlands, as well as our newly won constituencies in the North and Midlands.”
Cabinet Office boss Michael Gove warned MPs that hospitals will be overwhelmed if they don’t vote for the new tiers.
New Surrey MP Dr Ben Spencer said: “MPs need the predicted impact of these restrictions on NHS capacity for their local areas.”
Gove has warned MPs hospitals will be overwhelmed if they don't vote for the stricter tiers
And Tory backbench shop steward Sir Graham Brady said he will vote against the new tiers, adding: “These restrictions will cause immense further damage to the economy.”
Analysis by the Centre for Economic and Business Research predicts the new tiers will cost the UK £900million a day.
It said that with nearly a third of the country’s economy in Tier 3, England’s wealth will fall by 13 per cent. And Chancellor Rishi Sunak now accepts that 2.6 million workers will be out of work next year.
Although the PM has a majority of 80, more than 40 Tory rebels could wipe that out.
Mr Johnson must now rely on Labour votes to get his three tiers through.
Although Labour is expected to vote with the Government, a source said a final decision would come tomorrow.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer knows that however flawed the PM’s plan might be, to vote it down would leave the UK without one in the run-up to Christmas. But Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck said she is “likely” to vote with Tory rebels.
Tory rebel leader Steve Baker said: “The authoritarianism at work today is truly appalling.”
Fellow Tory MP Richard Drax added: “We need a new strategy based on common sense – not fear and more fear.”