Tory MP Steve Baker: PM should 'look at data' and bring forward route out of lockdown

24 March 2021, 10:09 | Updated: 24 March 2021, 15:35

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Tory MP Steve Baker today told LBC he will be rebelling against the Government over plans to extend "absolutely draconian" Covid lockdown powers.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister faces a showdown with Tory rebels who are against plans to extend emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act for another six months.

MPs are set to vote on Thursday on whether or not to extend the powers and if approved, it would take them beyond the June 21 date earmarked in the Government's road map for all restrictions in England ending.

Conservative MP Steve Baker spoke to LBC's Nick Ferrari where he said he will be voting against the Government.

Mr Baker said he wants hospitality to reopen by Easter and that once all of the top nine groups have been vaccinated there is "no case" for legislative restrictions to continue once "we get into May."

"At the moment, it looks like the data is better than anyone's best estimates, so I do think the Prime Minister, should be willing, in following the data, to bring the plan forwards."

Mr Baker, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Covid Recovery Group, told Nick he didn't think the Prime Minister's plans were in much danger though.

He said he would vote against the renewal of the Coronavirus Act as it has a "100% unlawful prosecution rate on absolutely draconian powers."

Telling LBC the Government no longer needs the powers to force a lockdown Mr Baker said the furlough scheme would "go on anyway" because the power it relies on is permanent.

Hitting out at the Labour Party, Mr Baker said they would provide "no resistance whatsoever and barely any scrutiny."

Predicting "many" Tory MPs would vote with him Mr Baker said he didn't think Boris Johnson was in any "great danger" but felt "some of us do need to make a point."

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith on Sunday called for the economy to be opened up again and for government scientists to follow data, not dates to get the country back up and running.

Sir Iain was asked during an appearance on Swarbrick on Sunday on LBC whether some types of behaviour, like protesting, might be criminalised for longer than was necessary due to government plans to keep lockdown powers in place for another six months.

Sir Iain said: "We're getting mixed messages from the scientists, I must say.

"They said originally that they would be led by the data, not the dates. The problem is now it appears they are being led by the dates, not the data.

"It's very clear that everything is going to plan with regards to the vaccines, and the protection of the UK public, the figures are falling. Dramatically."

Restrictions against protests in England are already among a raft of measures that will be lifted from next Monday in a move that has been branded a government "U-turn".

From 29 March, demonstrations will once again become an exception to the rule that bans group gatherings.

Protests will be given the green light under the laws if they are organised by a business, the public, a political body or other groups and so long as "required precautions" are taken.

These are likely to include measures such as ensuring people wear face masks and maintain their social distance. However, there will be no limitations on the number of people free to attend such events.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'He chooses to serve this country': Minister defends Chancellor after he made Rich List

Rich List Rishi Sunak 'could do anything with his life but he serves his country'

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on the contest

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on contest

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Rees-Mogg said Khan is not providing "value" for Londoners

'Hunky dory for him, tough on tax payers': Mogg hits out at Khan's US trip

Nick Ferrari reflects on his trip on the PM's plane

LBC Views: Boris got a warm welcome in Finland, but would it be the same in Finchley?

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson