Tory rebels look to call time on curfew

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Tory rebels look to call time on hospitality 10pm curfew

Related tags: Curfew, Coronavirus, Government

The end of the 10pm curfew imposed on hospitality businesses could be in sight after rebel Conservatives said they can muster the votes needed to overturn the Government's majority.

According to The Telegraph​, the group of Tory backbenchers hope to vote down the curfew on Wednesday (7 October), and are said to be meeting today (6 October) to discuss the possibility of forming a voting pact with Labour in order to do so.

The group said they've been encouraged by Rishi Sunak’s 'frustration' at the measure, as well as Labour’s refusal to support the curfew without seeing the supposed scientific evidence behind it.

Labour are not expected to decide until the day of the vote if they will vote to carry on with the 10pm cut-off.

Two votes on lockdown restrictions are expected in the next 48 hours – one tonight on the ‘rule of six', and a second on Wednesday on the curfew – in which MPs will be asked to approve the measures in a “yes/no” vote.

Whilst only a handful of MPs are likely to vote against the rule of six, rebel conservatives said on Monday that they could bring together the necessary 43 Tory MPs to vote with Labour to overturn the Government’s 85 working majority.

“Very few members of Parliament have constituencies which will bear voting against every infringement of liberty,” said former Brexit minister Steve Baker.

“However, there is a growing consensus that neither the 10pm curfew, nor including children in the ‘rule of six’, are well evidenced. I expect quite a few members of Parliament to take issue on those two points.”

It comes as calls continue to grow for the Government to both review and potentially scrap the curfew measures, which have been in place since 24 September.

Over the weekend, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was pushing for a rapid review of the 10pm curfew​.

Speaking on BBC London​ he said: “I’m concerned though, when I see what’s happening at 10pm and thereafter in pubs, bars and restaurants across London but also across the country.

“What I’m saying to the Government is they should undertake a rapid review on the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew, because I worry inadvertently the virus could be spreading rather than it being reduced by this 10pm curfew.

“That’s why I think that when you’re in a position of power and influence whether you’re the mayor or the government, you should have the humility to say listen, you know what this may not be working, let’s have a look at this again because it could be counterproductive.”

Last week, meanwhile, a campaign putting pressure on the Government to make a U-turn on its curfew launched in response to the negative impact it is having on the hospitality sector​.

Created by a group of hospitality professionals from across England and Wales, the #CANCELTHECURFEW campaign is attempting to raise awareness amongst consumers of the impact that the policy is having on their industry, in hope that they will join them in pressuring the Government to make a U-turn on the policy.

Related topics: Legislation

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