‘Robbing us of hope’ Boris Johnson braces for rebellion as Walker thrashes prison plans

UK government are 'robbing people of hope' says Walker

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Sir Charles Walker criticised Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for telling Britons they should not plan to travel abroad this Summer. In a Sky News interview, Sir Walker explained that last year foreign travel went ahead with no vaccine programme and the coronavirus cases were very low. The MP took particular issue with the newly-introduced policy that could see people jailed for up to 10 years should they lie about their movements when returning to the UK from abroad.

Sir Charles told Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “I think it is utter nonsense, you’re going to cart off some 19-year-old to prison who’s been a bit leery about a trip to Portugal, I mean come on.”

He is one of several members of the Conservative Party who have criticised the Government for the new policy, with some commentators suggesting Boris Johnson could face a substantial rebellion in Parliament once the new rules are scrutinised by MPs.

The Broxbourne MP also suggested the recent anti-Covid strategy the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have adopted could “rob” Britons of the hope of the pandemic coming to an end soon.

He continued: “If we’re going to start citing our own personal situations as the reason for doing something or not we’re getting into very dangerous territory.

“This isn’t about what happened to me, it’s about what is happening to anyone in the cabinet, it’s about the fact that millions of our constituents are under an enormous amount of stress.

“And what we’ve done now, is perhaps rob them of that hope that was keeping them going.

“I’m really sorry, but I’m not getting into this game where somehow a death from coronavirus is different from a death from cancer or death from heart disease.

“We accept that 20,000 people die from flu every year, we accept that 617,000 people die every year from old age but somehow you’re not allowed to die from coronavirus ever.

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“We cannot cancel life to preserve every life.”

Sir Charles Walker has also been a vocal critic of the mixed messages given by the Government who would not confirm if holidays would go ahead this summer. 

Mr Shapps said: “Please don’t go ahead and book holidays. I simply don’t know the answer to the question of where we’ll be up to this summer.

“It’s too early to give that information. The best advice to people is: do nothing at this stage.”


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But despite Mr Shapps’ warning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed he booked his own holiday for the summer in Cornwall and is hoping the situation will improve enough to allow him and other Britons to go ahead with their plans.

It comes as new border rules, including hotel quarantine and fines for rule-breaking, were announced by Mr Hancock earlier this week.

From Monday, people returning from red-list countries will be required not only to provide a negative Covid test on arrival but will also have to quarantine for 10 days.

Two additional tests will be required on day two and day 10 of quarantine, included in the quarantine package worth £1,750 people will have to pay out for from their own pockets.

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