Downing Street sees off Commons revolt on 10pm pub curfew despite Tory backbench rebellion from MPs who say it would mean 'death by 1,000 cuts' for businesses
Tory coronavirus curfew rebels made a symbolic protest against the 10pm pub closure rule tonight but were unable to prevent it being cemented into law.
Forty-two Conservative MPs opposed the lockdown measure in the Commons tonight amid anger at the measure critics say has no scientific backing and is hugely damaging to businesses.
There was also anger at perceiveddirty tricks after they attempted to axe the vote. They include the curfew in a wider vote on the Prime Minister's new lockdown tier system unveiled yesterday, meaning that if it was defeated, the whole system would collapse.
MPs were able to force a separate vote but themeasure was approved by 299 votes to 82, a majority of 217.
It came as Health Secretary Matt Hancockadmitted to MPs that the 10pm curfew was a 'policy choice' rather than a scientific imperative.
'There is no silver bullet, and without one, although difficult, we must learn to live with the virus. The continued peaks and troughs are unsustainable and offer false hope.'
He continued: 'My inbox is swamped by people imploring me to help the Government to realise that their businesses will be damned. I have not received one letter or email asking me to commend the Government on its proposals.'
Mr Ahmad Khan said he would 'reconsider and vote with the Government' if a more geographically granular model was used when placing areas into a certain tier, as is the case with High Peak, adding: 'Without such assurances, I fear these measures would, for Wakefield, be a death by 1,000 cuts.
'I cannot look my constituents in the eye if I have voted for measures that break them.'
MPs had a briefing with Jonathan Van-Tam on the 10pm curfew yesterday. Pressed repeatedly for the scientific justification for the curfew, sources told MailOnline the deputy chief medical officer said: 'That was a policy decision not a scientific one.'
No10 told reporters today there would be no separate vote on the curfew tonight as was expected.
Instead they expert it to be bundled into a vote on the while Level 1 Medium tier of Boris Johnson's new lockdown measures.
取而代之的是，他们将其捆绑到对鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson)新的封锁措施的While Level 1中等级别的投票中。
ButTory MP Peter Bone said it would be 'extraordinary' if the government tried to avoid a separate vote on the controversial move.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, said the Government needs to 'work with the public' to encourage them to take 'sensible precautions for themselves'.
He said young children should be exempted from the rule of six, the 10pm curfew should be scrapped or 'softened', and airport testing is needed to mitigate the 'hugely damaging' quarantine arrangements.
Sir Graham also pressed for an exit strategy from restrictions for his Altrincham and Sale West constituents, adding: 'This half-alive state we have to inhabit cannot be allowed to become permanent.'
Despite the claims from No10, the Speaker's Office has been making clear to MPs that the votes on curfew and other coronavirus measures will be taken separately.
Mr Hancock this afternoon defended the curfew as he faced sceptical Tory backbenchers.
'We already now have evidence from accident and emergency departments that we've seen a reduction in alcohol-related admissions late at night after the 10pm curfew,' he said.
'This is both important in its own right but it's also a proxy as a measure of how much people are drinking late at night, and therefore is evidence there is less mixing and less drinking late at night.'
A Tory MP has said he will not vote for the Government's tiered restrictions, which will 'break' his constituents.
Tory MP Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet) raised concerns over the 10pm curfew imposed on bars and restaurants and said he would vote against the curfew.
He told the Commons: 'My real concern is of course about the 10pm curfew. Just considering this great city of London, the restaurants are closed, the pubs closed, there is no takeaway available at 10 o'clock and guess what, the first train out of London or the next Tube at 10 past 10 is going to be rocka-chocka solid, mixing and mingling with people at close proximity.'
The Health Secretary said people are largely mixing outside after 10pm, adding: 'They would otherwise be mixing inside the premises - it's just easier to photograph outside.'
Headded the Government also needs to reduce the amount of social contact to control the virus, explaining: 'We're trying to protect as much as is possible education and protect as much as is possible work, essentially that leaves socialising as the other part of life, of activity where people transmit the virus.
'And so it is therefore understandable that governments around the world and around this United Kingdom, governments of all different political persuasions have all come to broadly the same conclusion that it is necessary to restrict socialising because that way we reduce the transmission with the least damage to education and the economy.
'So while there is both direct and approximate evidence for the positive impact of this measure, there is also the strategic point which is if we want to control the virus and we weren't to do this, we'd have to do something else and we want, as a matter of policy choice, to protect education and protect work.'