Coronavirus: Tory backbenchers demand a say in Covid plans

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Backbenchers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the failure to consult the Commons on lockdown regulations that have a major economic and social impact. Sir Graham said he has received “strong support” from Tory MPs for his plan and he will be discussing it with No 10. Ministers must go before Parliament within the next few weeks to renew the temporary provisions that were contained in emergency laws introduced at the start of the virus crisis.

These were designed to give the Government powers to respond quickly to the pandemic.

Sir Graham will try to amend the legislation to wrestle back more control for MPs over the process.

He said: “In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time it was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by COVID-19.

“We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and Parliament has been sitting largely since April.

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“There is now no justification for ministers ruling by those emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.

“It is essential that going forward all of these massively important decisions for family life, and affecting people’s jobs and businesses, should be exercised with proper supervision and control.”

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