NHS nurse erupts at Tories threatening Covid rules rebellion
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Liz rang into Jeremy Vine on 5 as dozens of Tory backbench rebels are seeking to scupper a House of Commons vote on coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday. Liz explained the restrictions being proposed were relatively minor compared to what could happen if a full-scale lockdown is required to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. She added several of her colleagues, unfortunately, died during the pandemic and agreed it was MP’s “duty” to make sure the population was protected.
Liz was asked whether it was MP’s “patriotic duty” to back the Prime Minister.
She explained: “Yes, I think they [should], I think the restrictions are very minor but actually we do need to follow them to avoid the perfect storm that is about to hit the NHS…
“I led the Covid swabbing team for the first year of the pandemic so I was out swabbing anybody and everybody within the NHS Trust that had symptoms and I saw some really sick people come in.
“And unfortunately, we did have staff die at the hospital.”
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It is believed between 70-75 Tory MPs will vote against the coronavirus rules when they are presented to the Commons later on Tuesday with the majority of these backbenchers showing opposition to the “illiberal” nature of the restrictions.
Among them are Steve Baker, David Davis, Tobias Ellwood, and Marcus Fysh.
However, it is unclear on what lines most of these MPs will vote along as there are three votes on the restrictions – one for mask-wearing, one for mandatory vaccination of NHS staff, and the other for Covid certification.
Most of the vocal opponents to the rules have stressed their anger at the Covid certification with MPs offering their own concerns.
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This week, former Brexit Secretary David Davis appeared on the Today Programme to share his thoughts on Covid certification.
He feared the documents could provide a false sense of security with people flouting social distancing because they believe they are safe under the certification.
He also told ITV’s Peston the “passport” could have the reverse effect of increasing infections rather than stopping them because regular testing may be ignored.
Mr Davis added regular testing would enable health services to track and monitor potentially deadly variants and superspreaders much easier than certifications.
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Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh told BBC Radio 5 Live that he did not want the UK to turn into a “papers please” society, even drawing parallels with the Covid certification and Nazi Germany.
Chair of the Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, also told Today Programme: “But, more importantly, you can go into a large venue with a recent negative lateral flow test, again that makes sense, but you can also turn up if you had proof of having two jabs – which may have been completed six months ago.
“So even with a new mutation, you could actually be carrying Covid.
“Leadership is about taking people to where perhaps they didn’t realise they needed to go, but they must understand the plan, and this is illogical at the moment.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced during a public broadcast that his party would be backing the measures put forward by the Government for the “national interest”.
The proposals come as the UK Government fear the Omicron variant with the UK Health Security Agency estimating the daily infection figure is around 200,000.
Confusion was spread in the early hours of Tuesday after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab gave conflicting figures on how many hospitalisations there had been from Omicron.
The recent figures provided by Sajid Javid were 10 but Mr Raab brought that up to 250 before saying it was nine.
Government officials confirmed the figure still remained at 10.
Ministers are now seeking to ramp up the Covid booster programme and offer a third vaccine to all over-18 double-jabbed Britons by December 31.
However, the health service has hit several snags along the way with vaccination centres seeing hour-long queues outside and booking portals crashing.
Mr Javid is also reportedly looking into cutting the 15-minute post-jab wait time – used to detect any side effects – to speed up the process.
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