A rebel group of Tory MPs determined to oppose any extension to Covid lockdown restrictions has swelled to 70, with dozens more considering joining. The backbench Tory MPs have formed The Covid Recovery Group to oppose a third national lockdown after the current one ends in December. The anti-lockdown alliance, which will have Mark Harper, a former government chief whip, as chairman and ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker as deputy last night grew to 70 Conservative MPs – having originally started with 50. Another 25 Tory politicians are said to be considering signing up to the group, which already has its own Whatsapp chat. They plan to oppose any return to a national shutdown of the economy, which they claim does more damage to people’s lives than the virus itself. Mr Harper yesterday won an assurance from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that he will provide an assessment of the economic impact of the current national lockdown in England and any future restrictions. It comes as Boris Johnson warned that a vaccine will not deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus as Tories insisted he must not use the prospect of jabs to keep the country in lockdown longer. At a bad-tempered PMQs session,… Read full this story
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