Government promises to hold votes ‘wherever possible’ on nationwide measures after Tory rebellion

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Matt Hancock has unveiled a government concession giving MPs a say in future “significant national measures” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, including holding votes wherever possible.

In response to mounting frustration over the introduction of new Covid-19 rules and a lack of parliamentary oversight, the health secretary said he had listened to concerns raised by dozens of backbench Conservatives, who had threatened a rebellion.

His comments followed the dramatic intervention from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, who rebuked Boris Johnson’s government for treating parliament with “contempt” and pushing through sweeping restrictions in a “totally unsatisfactory” way.

During a press conference at Downing Street on Wednesday evening, the prime minister also warned he would “not hesitate” to impose further national restrictions if the evidence from scientific advisers required it.

Opening a debate on the Coronavirus Act, which provides ministers with the powers to enact draconian

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