LAST night saw a significant number of Tory MPs rebelled to vote against Boris Johnson’s changes to social care reforms amid anger over how it will hit poorer pensioners.

The Prime Minster only narrowly succeeded in getting MPs to back his new policy to cap care costs in England, on Monday evening, which senior Tories declined to back amid criticism the plans were being watered down.

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Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, Kevin Hollinrake, said the Government’s plan for the cap is “less generous” than previous proposals for those with “more modest assets” and asked “how can that be fair.”

Mr Hollinrake said: “Some of the measures he’s brought forward are more generous than previously proposed, but there is no doubt that the way the cap works for those with more modest assets, it is less generous.”

“How can that be fair?”

Health Minister Edward Argar, said: “This, when compared to the current system, is a significant improvement and step forward, particularly when taken in the round with the overall package of measures which see those floors go from £23,250 up to £100,000 and from £14,250 up to £20,000.

“And I think we do have to look at this in the round, considering all aspects, rather than purely one element alone.”

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Conservative MP for Darlington Peter Gibson abstained from voting due to isolation with Covid, whereas both Matt Vickers and Dehenna Davidson voted for the controversial cap.

Labour MP for City of Durham, Mary Foy, voted against the cap and tabled a series of amendments that aim to help the Government meet its ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030.

The Labour MP believes changes should also be made to Health and Care Bill to give the Secretary of State the power to prohibit branding on e-cigarette packaging which appeals to children.

Ms Foy said: “The Government is reviewing this proposal but said more research is needed.

“Yet health warnings, like ‘smoking kills’, have been shown to be effective on billboards and tobacco packs so why on earth wouldn’t they be effective on cigarette sticks?”

She added: “New clause four would give the Secretary of State powers to remove child-friendly branded elements from nicotine products; currently there are e-liquids on the market called sweet names like ‘gummy bears’ in garish colours and featuring cartoon characters.”

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Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham abstained from voting on the changes.


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