Boris Johnson was facing a growing Tory revolt over new Covid-19 restrictions last night as angry Conservative lawmakers accused the government of exaggerating capacity problems in the NHS in an effort to win their support.
Ahead of the House of Commons’ decisive vote on the new three-tier system on Tuesday, an extraordinary dispute erupted over the claims of the Cabinet Office minister. Michael Gove The NHS, including newly constructed Nightingale Hospitals, can be “physically stressful”.
Yesterday writing in TimesGoff revealed that the previous decision to impose a second national lockdown was taken after ministers were presented with a bleak picture of the rise in Covid-19 virus cases and Nightingale hospitals.
“Every bed, every suite is occupied,” Goff wrote. Try to force the rebels Governors In line with this, he told the elected members that they should “take responsibility for difficult decisions” in the national interest.
Desperate to win the potential rebel round, the prime minister wrote to all MPs explaining that the bylaws placing territories at levels would expire on February 3 and would be reviewed every two weeks until then. He also promised the analysis demanded by various lawmakers of the health, economic and social impact of Covid-19 and measures taken to address it.
But since Conservative MPs objected to Jove’s rhetoric, the debate was fueled even more as other Conservatives revealed to the public. Foreman Health Minister Nadine Dorries told a group of them last week that Nightingale hospitals were in fact largely empty because people considered them “dark and dirty,” and that it proved difficult to find the staff to run them. Ministry spokesperson the health Social Care denied that it had used these words and said: “NHS Nightingale is working to develop a clinical model that can be scaled up when additional capacity is required in the region. This model ensures that the right mix of skills is available from staff from NHS funds in the area, and from NHS professionals and recruitment. Direct if necessary. ”
Spokesperson NHS He confirmed that only two of seven Nightingales – Manchester and Exeter – had begun accepting patients.
A senior Conservative Party said: “Ministers like Jove cannot simultaneously say that we are on the verge of indulging unless we adopt tougher measures, while admitting that they only use a fraction of the emergency capacity beds. They have the staff. If it’s as bad as he says, what have they been doing since March? ‘
Tobias Ellwood, one of the Conservative MPs who threatened to vote against the government on Tuesday, said Gove was “totally disingenuous because everyone of our Nightingales is underutilized – they are pretty much asleep.” He added on Twitter: “Let’s not layering areas higher, due to local bed pressure when the other beds are empty.”
Johnson announced Thursday that 99% of England’s population will enter the two highest levels, with tight restrictions on bars and restaurants, and a ban on household mixing at home. Only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly will be in the lower tier.
Several Conservative MPs say the new system imposes very strict restrictions on regions with fewer cases and border areas with more cases. The ministers called for more evidence of their decisions to be provided, as well as for the publication of an analysis of the economic cost of imposing the new system. They also want to draw borders on a more local level.
Charles Walker, vice chair of the 1922 Conservative House committee, said he would vote against the government on Tuesday and believed Gove’s approach had backfired.
He said, “Michael Gove’s intervention has not helped the government issue. I, like most members of Parliament, have one or two emails per week from people saying ‘tighter the rules’ but dozens of people who run companies asking how they can survive. Parliament who have deep concerns about the latest round of restrictions are acting in good faith by representing those who elected them. They are doing what they were elected to do. “
In his letter to the deputies, the prime minister described these “difficult times” that required “difficult decisions”. He said regions could move to lower levels starting Dec.16 and the government will clarify what is needed before this happens. The Cabinet meeting on December 17 will clarify the levels in operation from December 19. After the fourth midterm review on January 27, Parliament will have another vote “to determine whether the measures will remain in effect until the end of March”.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, who will be placed in tier 3, accused the government of repeating the methods of intimidation used by ministers during his recent disputes with Westminster.
“The government and the government have a form on this,” he said. “They used the same intimidation tactics against Greater Manchester when they tried to persuade us to accept their original, flawed Tier 3 proposals. It didn’t work then and people should be skeptical of that now.” He said that all members of parliament in Level 3 regions should “think twice” before voting on a system that would not give their councils any additional support from those in Level 1 or 2, adding: “It will destroy their towns and cities which is a deliberate act of leveling.”
He said the occupancy rate at Nightingale Hospital in Manchester is low, while the number of locally intensive care patients for Covid-19 has fallen to its lowest level since early November.
At least 10 Conservative MPs are expected to vote against the government on Tuesday, with some twenty or more said to be extremely anxious and waiting to see if the government makes concessions. “Unless I see convincing new evidence, I will vote against it,” said former cabinet minister Damian Green, an MP for Ashford in Kent. Seven Conservative MPs from Kent are due to meet Health and Welfare Secretary Matt Hancock on Monday.
Dr. Ben Spencer, Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party said: “As a doctor, with all my body and soul, we can never let our NHS be overwhelmed, and I agree with Michael Gove that MPs have to take responsibility for tough decisions. That’s why to make these decisions, he needs Representatives need to analyze the harm / benefit and the expected impact of these restrictions on NHS capacity in their local areas. ”
Steve Baker, vice president of the 70-person Covid Recovery Group, which has raised deep concerns over the plans, said he is grateful for the “constructive approach” and will study the details of Johnson’s letter before Tuesday’s vote. Labor has yet to decide how to vote and is pushing for more financial support for hard-hit regions and businesses.
Bharat Pankhania, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, warned that those seeking relaxation are overlooked for the risks to individuals. He said, “It’s all good to talk about numbers and infection rates, but what about someone who gets and ends up with permanently damaged lungs? They are done for life. These are the factors that should be focused on.”
Coronavirus expert David Matthews from the University of Bristol added that the government needs to be more clear about its motivations for imposing drastic new measures. “He is imposing it because we don’t want the issues to start rising again,” he said. “If this is not verified, it means that people will be left to die, without treatment, in their homes because there will be no hospital beds because there are many other patients. If a person becomes seriously ill with Covid, he should have the right to have “Emergency treatment, dexamethasone and oxygen in emergency care units. Therefore it is essential to keep the number of cases low.”
Meanwhile, hospitals have been told to prepare to roll out a vaccine against the Coronavirus in less than 10 days, with NHS workers expected to be at the top of the waiting list. NHS chiefs have said hospitals in England can expect to receive their first batch of vaccine Pfizer / Bioetec As soon as Monday, December 7, regulatory approval is expected within days.