Tory backbenchers will continue to push the government to give MPs a chance to debate and vote on coronavirus measures before they come into force. This is despite Downing Street’s attempt to head off a rebellion.
Conservative Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, has tabled an amendment to the Coronavirus Act. The amendment is an attempt to force greater parliamentary scrutiny of the regulations.
A six-month review of coronavirus (Covid-19) powers is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 30 September.
In a bid to appease the backbenches, Downing Street has offered MPs a chance to debate and vote on the ‘rule of six’ in October.
However, Brady said the government’s olive branch was “not relevant” to his bid for further scrutiny. He told the PA news agency:
There would always have been a retrospective opportunity for a vote on the rule of six.
What I am pressing for is debates and votes before measures come into force.
The ‘rule of six’ vote is scheduled for 6 October.
Brady’s amendment would need to be selected by commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle on 30 September to stand a chance of being successful.
Brady has won the backing of more than 40 of his Tory colleagues. And with Labour likely to support the measure, Boris Johnson could be defeated in the Commons review of the powers on 30 September.
Conservative former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, Damian Green (who was effectively deputy PM under Theresa May), liaison committee chairman Bernard Jenkin, Bob Neill, and former Brexit secretary David Davis are among those to back the bid.
DUP MPs and the chairman of the Labour parliamentary party John Cryer are also supporting the move. A Labour source said the party was “sympathetic” to the amendment.