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Boris Johnson is facing a rebellion over lockdown

21 May 2020

12:56 AM

21 May 2020

12:56 AM

Today is the last day of the hybrid parliament. When MPs return after recess on 2 June, it will be to a traditional House of Commons – albeit with social distancing and limits on how many people can enter the Chamber. This is being seen as a victory for the Tory whips. But the whips should be careful what they wish for. Tory MPs are, at the moment, spread out across the country but I suspect bringing them all to Westminster will lead to more vocal demands for a greater easing of the lockdown.

Tory MPs are becoming increasingly panicked about the economic consequences of the lockdown. One senior Tory MP calls me every morning from their commute to lament how few cars there are in the station car park; 2 in the 100 available spaces the last two days. This MP believes that Boris Johnson should be telling people it is their patriotic duty to go to work if they can’t work from home and their workplace is open. Others fear that the economic costs of the lockdown are going to be exacerbated as other countries open up.

With MPs back together in parliament, they will start sharing their concerns with each other, reinforcing their views. This will lead to more pressure on the government to ease things up faster.

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