Backbench unrest as Boris cancels Christmas

Conservative backbenchers have revealed their displeasure at the government’s decision to effectively cancel Christmas, just days after Boris Johnson had said it would be “inhuman” to do so.

At a press conference this afternoon, the prime minister announced an addition to the tier system across England, Tier 4, which outlined a similar set of social restrictions seen during March’s national lockdown.

Furthermore, the five-day Christmas grace period which the government last confirmed would still go ahead just on Wednesday, was reduced to apply only to Christmas Day.

Former chief whip, Mark Harper voiced his concern about the embarrassing U-turn and declared the need for a “clear exit strategy from this nightmarish cycle of damaging lockdowns.”

Conservative Brexiteer Steve Baker MP tweeted the same message and added: “It is clear lockdowns and increasingly severe tiered restrictions have so far failed in their goal of slowing the transmission of Covid.”

“And now the Government is requiring people to sacrifice the chance to share Christmas with family, friends and loved ones, just a few days after promising the opposite.”

Sir Charles Walker, the vice chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs went further, telling Christopher Hope of the Telegraph: “Given that the Prime Minister is not going to resign, perhaps it is time for Matt Hancock to consider his position.”

Conservative MP for Poole, Sir Robert Syms called for Parliament to be recalled and “should vote after having the facts put between us. I am not happy with Government decision.”

Buckingham’s MP, Greg Smith echoed sentiments for the recalling of Parliament to ensure that the evidence upon which today’s announcements have relied on can be fully scrutinised.

The restrictions enter into force at midnight on Saturday 20 December and will be subject to a review ten day’s later on 30 December.