Chris Green quits as junior government member over Bolton local lockdown

13 October 2020, 17:57 | Updated: 13 October 2020, 18:52

Chris Green has quit as a parliamentary private secretary over local lockdown restrictions
Chris Green has quit as a parliamentary private secretary over local lockdown restrictions. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A junior government member has resigned over the local lockdown in Bolton saying it "clearly has not worked" and that such measures are "worse than the disease".

Bolton West Conservative MP Chris Green has stepped down as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Lords Leader Baroness Evans due to "increasing concerns" about Boris Johnson's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PPS said the local lockdown measures in Greater Manchester have "failed to control the number of positive tests" in his Bolton borough.

He expressed concern over people seeing their GPs less frequently and them being "frightened" to access other vital treatments.

Writing to the prime minister, Mr Green said: "I believe that there are better alternatives to the government's approach, so I therefore tender my resignation."

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Mr Green criticised the coronavirus restrictions in his constituency of Bolton West and Atherton - saying the "attempted cure is worse than the disease".

"By taking the current approach to Covid-19 we are creating many other health problems, which are leading to pain, suffering and death."

The MP said the closure of pubs, restaurants and cafes, along with decreased footfall on high streets had "brought many family-owned businesses in my constituency to the brink of collapse and pushed other over the edge".

He added: "There is a healthy debate on how we can eliminate this coronavirus or how we can live with it and this is being led by many distinguished academics, epidemiologists and other specialists."

In 2018, Mr Green stepped down from his position as parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Transport over Brexit after then-PM Theresa May presented to the Commons her plan on how Britain would leave the European Union.

In his resignation letter to Ms May, he said that her Brexit plan would mean the UK "would not really leave the EU".

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