DOZENs of Tory MPs last night launched a new group aimed at blocking a third national lockdown.
Boris Johnson has insisted England's current lockdown will end on December 2 but has refused to rule out the prospect of extending it or imposing another one at a later date.
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And his medical and scientific advisers on SAGE have suggested rolling lockdowns may be needed throughout the next few months.
But 50 Tory MPs have signed up to the new anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group (CRG), according to the Daily Telegraph.
And a further 45 Tory MPs are said to be considering joining after signing up to a WhatsApp group to coordinate anti-lockdown strategy.
It poses a major challenge to the PM were he to pursue an extension to the current Covid lockdown in England or any further shutdowns.
And crucially it would mean he would need to pass any future lockdown decision on the back of Labour votes – a move that could be disastrous for his leadership of the Tory party.
The CRG has experienced politicians leading the group, with former Government chief whip Mark Harper and the Brexit rebel ringleader Steve Baker in charge.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Harper said: "The country is badly in need of a different and enduring strategy for living with the virus that doesn’t require us to keep living under a series of damaging lockdowns and seemingly arbitrary restrictions.
"Lockdowns and restrictions cause immense economic, social and non-Covid health damage. … At the moment, the cure we’re prescribing runs the very real risk of being worse than the disease, and it’s important that we base all our decisions as a country on informed scientific, economic and health data."
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