MPS demanded Boris Johnson drag them back to Parliament today as the PM faced a triple whammy of chaos over Dover, the rapidly spreading mutant coronavirus and ongoing Brexit deadlock.
Politicians lined up to say the PM should recall them back to Westminster to deal with the ongoing crisis – and challenge the Government.
Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer said today: “I do think there’s a case to look at whether we should recall parliament.”
And backbenchers are grumbling over the latest coronavirus strain – accusing ministers of keeping them in the dark and acting strategically to force the country into another lockdown.
Sir Desmond Swayne said this morning that scientists have been looking at the new strain since September, and demanded a vote on the emergency Tier 4 which was brought in at the last moment on Saturday night.
He told Radio 4: “How convenient when Parliament went into recess on Thursday suddenly they were then able to produce this revelation.
“Let’s see the evidence then, let’s have Parliament back and show us and convince us. Come clean.”
He added: “I want Parliament to be recalled so we can scrutinise properly in a democracy decisions that are being made which affect our economy radically and our liberty.”
He said the Government were running scared as they weren’t sure of the evidence, adding: “What’s government frightened of? Frightened of its Parliament?”
But Grant Shapps insisted the Government had acted as quickly as it could over the new strain – which is said to spread up to 70 per cent more easily.
He insisted: “You almost couldn’t have been faster about it.”
Boris faces a nightmare before Christmas today as:
- France shut the border with the UK – forcing lorries with goods to line up for hours on both sides
- It was feared food supplies may be affected within hours – with Sainsburys warning about veg and fruit in the run up to Christmas
- Millions were stranded or unable to travel after a string of countries banned flights to the UK over the new coronavirus strain
- A third of the country was plunged into Tier 4 yesterday – effectively another lockdown – cancelling Christmas for thousands of families
- MPs demanded a vote be held as soon as possible
- More than £33 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 within minutes of opening over the chaos
Former minister Tim Loughton also joined calls for a recall.
He told the BBC last night: “I think Parliament does need to go back and discuss this and be able to scrutinise the government much more closely.
“We need to be much more transparent on this and there needs to be logic and consistency in some of the measures being brought forward and I don’t think there’s complete logic and consistency in some of the changes to Christmas itself.”
MPs including ex-Lib Dem boss Tim Farron and Labour MPs also called for them to return to Westminster.
Several countries including France, Canada, Italy, India and Denmark have cancelled flights between their countries and the UK – over the new coronavirus strain.
Boris plunged a third of the nation into effective lockdown on Saturday over the fears, forcing an exodus of Londoners leaving the capital ahead of the law change.
He said the new strain, which was first identified in September, was up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
Mr Shapps said this morning of a group of 15 at a wedding, 11 have tested positive with no symptoms – and this was likely to be a glimpse of what the country has to now grapple with.
Several other countries have already said they have identified the strain there too, showing it has been spreading for weeks.
Scientists only managed to properly examine the genomic sequences last week – and immediately went to Boris Johnson with their findings when they had more information.
So far they don’t think it will be resistant to the vaccine, but have stressed it’s spreading even more easily than before.