Sir Graham Brady has questioned whether the government “has any right” to implement a lockdown across England as he voted against this afternoon’s House of Commons motion.
The MP for Altrincham and Sale West said he voted against the motion “with greater conviction” than during any other in his 23 years in the House.
MPs passed the vote by 516 to 38 to ensure that tomorrow’s four-week lockdown will go ahead as planned – but in rebelling, Brady blasted the government’s “arrogance” in bringing in the measures, which are designed to slow the surging coronavirus infection rate across the country.
He said: “I want to ask whether the government actually has any right to take the measures it is taking? The thing that troubles me most is that the government is reaching too far into the private and family lives of our constituents.
“I think there is an, unintended perhaps, but an arrogance in assuming the government has the right to … tell people, whether they can visit their elderly parents in a care home, whether it has the right to tell parents they can’t see their children, or their grandchildren, whether it has any right, for heaven’s sake, to tell consenting adults with whom they are allowed to sleep.”
Brady continued: “I can’t be the only member of this House who has sat in a constituency surgery with a constituent in tears as they have said that they can’t see a vulnerable elderly parent with dementia in a care home.”
And he also hit out at the continuing impact of the measures on Manchester Airport and the aviation industry generally, as well as the fact the new hardline measures did not exclude collective worship.
He added: “Does it have the right to ban acts of collective worship? I’m glad the churches are standing up against this and objecting because earlier in the year I thought they possibly went a little too quietly. And any right, for heaven’s sake, to ban golf or tennis without giving any reason.”