Tory Rebel Says U.K. Government Can Be Beaten on Virus Powers

(Bloomberg) — U.K. Conservative Party rebels have the numbers to defeat the government as they seek to curb Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s emergency coronavirus powers, leading rank-and-file Tory Steve Baker said on Sunday.



Steve Baker wearing a suit and tie: Steve Baker, Conservative Party member of U.K. Parliament, poses for a photograph in the Westminster district of London, U.K., on Monday, April 8, 2019. The nightmare for Baker is that his vision of a clean break from the EU, restoring self-government to Britain, now looks set to crash.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
Steve Baker, Conservative Party member of U.K. Parliament, poses for a photograph in the Westminster district of London, U.K., on Monday, April 8, 2019. The nightmare for Baker is that his vision of a clean break from the EU, restoring self-government to Britain, now looks set to crash.

“We don’t really want a rebellion,” Baker told Sky News. “We’re trying to support the government in getting this done by saying let us vote on these measures and support the government, let’s have policy which enjoys our consent.”

Baker is among dozens of Tories to back an amendment that seeks to give the House of Commons a chance to debate and vote upon changes to coronavirus rules when the government’s pandemic legislation comes up for review this week. Asked if, with the backing of opposition parties, the rebels could win a vote, Baker said “I’m certain.”

Jo Stevens, a member of the main opposition Labour Party’s shadow cabinet, told the same program that while her party prefers its own amendment, if the Tory rebel amendment is selected for a vote, “the likelihood is that we would back it.”

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