A senior Conservative back bencher has warned the Prime Minister that his leadership will be under question. If the country stays in a continuing cycle of COVID lockdowns.
Johnson warned ‘lift lockdown soon or face leadership challenge’: The Tory back bencher that has spoken out is Steve Baker, who was influential in the outing of Teresa May. And he has written to the COVID Recovery Group asking them to put pressure on the Chief Whip. In the letter he warned that if action was not taken now the leadership of the Party would be “on the table”. Actually stating “If we don’t act now, evens will become inevitable.” He wrote “I am sorry to have to say this again and as bluntly as this: it is imperative you equip the Chief Whip today with your opinion that debate will become about the PM’s leadership. If the Government does not set out a clear plan for when our full freedoms will be restored, with a guarantee that this strategy will not be used again next winter.”
Regarding the prospect of increased coronavirus restrictions he said. “If we continue forward with a strategy that hammers freedom, hammers the private sector, hammers small business owners and hammers the poor. Inevitably the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table: we strongly do not want that after all we have been through as a country.” As ministers seemed to be preparing to give the go ahead to new coronavirus restrictions Baker said. “I am sorry to be blunt but if we do not act now, events will become inevitable. For the good of the country please contact the Chief Whip.
We must take stock today and act now to avoid severe problems a little later. Certain Government scientists have said that ‘the current lockdown could last until late spring’.
There is no reason to think there will be any real resistance in Cabinet to the argument for greater and longer and more draconian restrictions on the public. This could be a disaster. Nothing seems more certain to break the public than giving hope before taking it away, and doing it repeatedly.” Baker’s statements come after Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer suggested that lockdown could be in place across the country until late Spring.
Baker went on to say “Government has adopted a strategy devoid of any commitment to liberty without any clarification about when our most basic freedoms will be restored and with no guarantee that they will never be taken away again. People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party.”
In a strange twist of events, after the letter was made public, Baker took to Twitter to endorse Johnson and said “What this country needs is the complete success of @BorisJohnson, with his excellent EU deal, a successful vaccination programme and a #Road2Recovery back to freedom. I am clear Boris is the only person to lead us out of these difficulties and I support him in that endeavour.”
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