Tory MP says Boris should 'listen' to conservative colleagues
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Boris Johnson has suffered the largest rebellion since he became Prime Minister as nearly 100 Tory MPs voted against measures which would usher in the mandatory use of Covid passes. The new measures passed the Commons thanks to the support of Labour, but the PM’s attempts to quell a rebellion on his own backbenches failed as a large number of his MPs defied the whip to vote against him on the issue of the passes, which have also been known as vaccine passports. And Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee said a leadership challenge next year had “got to be on the cards” if the PM did not change his approach.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Harper said: “It’s a larger number than we expected. In my speech today I made it very clear to colleagues, the vote on vaccine passport was not just about that. It was about some messages on how the Government should be dealing with this issue but also about how it should be treating Parliament.
“It was a message to the Prime Minister that if he has to make any further decisions, they should be brought to Parliament in advance and if it’s during the recess and we have to recall Parliament then that is what we should do.
“Parliament must be taken seriously not just for MPs but for our constituents on behalf of whom we probe ministers, test the evidence and ask important questions.
“I think this is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to look at the sizeable number of MPs who sent a clear message tonight that they want a change of approach.”
Asked if Mr Johnson will be able to introduce more restrictions, Mr Harper added: “I think it will depend on the trust he has with colleagues and with the country.
“The way you do that is you’re open and transparent and you treat Parliament seriously and with respect.”
More to follow…
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