A NORTH EAST MP has urged the government to come up with a 'better plan' to tackle the Omicron Covid variant with Boris Johnson facing what could prove to be the largest rebellion of his premiership.

More than 60 Conservative MPs said to be against the imposition of extra coronavirus measures after the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday he would be triggering his winter Plan B protocols in a bid to buy the UK time in the fight against the Omicron variant of the virus.

Tories have reacted with dismay to the proposals, with tens of backbenchers pledging to vote down plans for vaccine passports to be made mandatory for large venues.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning, Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison reiterated  that she would be voting against the government and said there was a feeling Mr Johnson wasn't 'going down the right track'.

She said: "I’m not backing vaccine passports, so on that particular thing I certainly hope they are not introduced, but rather than I defeat, I would rather see the government not push that legislation.

“I hope (the PM) can look at a better plan, a plan that we can all get behind because there is a lot of concern amongst backbenchers but also some in government that perhaps we aren’t quite going down the right track, and we all want to get behind this and see the country pull through."

The introduction of Covid passes will mean those who have not been fully vaccinated will not be able to enter indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people from Wednesday.

The Plan B measures also include compulsory mask-wearing in most public indoor settings, as well as guidance for employees to work from home where they can in order to stem transmission.

Conservative MP Matt Vickers also confirmed he will be rebelling.

The Stockton South MP, one of the 2019 intake representing a so-called former Labour “red wall” constituency, told Times Radio: “I do not believe we should be going down the Plan B route.

“We talked about learning to live with it, we promised people they will get these boosters in their arms and the world will come back to normal, kids will be able to go to school properly without masks on, we promised them the economy would be free, we’d be free to get things going, and that’s exactly what we need to do.”

Former Cabinet ministers David Davis, Esther McVey, Dr Liam Fox and Greg Clark are among those to have voiced concerns about the scaling-up of restrictions.

The new Covid restrictions are expected to become law this week as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer confirmed his party will be supporting the Government in Tuesday’s vote.

The Labour leader said his party will not be doing so to support the Prime Minister but the NHS.

He said: “If you look at the science in relation to Omicron, the new variant, there is a real concern that we could be in a situation where the number of cases is doubling in a shorter period of two days.

“Now, I understand people say that that hasn’t led to higher hospitalisations and deaths yet, but the sheer volume of cases is very, very worrying.”

He added: “So, I’m not supporting the Prime Minister on Tuesday, I’m supporting our NHS, and I’m supporting the public in relation to this pandemic.”

Sir Keir also insisted that, while he is not “comfortable” with the idea of vaccine passports, he believes they are necessary.

“I am concerned about the idea of vaccine passports, I’m not comfortable with it, but I’m persuaded that it is necessary, particularly if it’s linked to the alternative of a negative test, which is what a lot of venues have been operating on a voluntary basis now for a very long time,” he said.

“I went to Arsenal Football Club yesterday to watch the match, as I always do. That system has been in place on a volunteer basis so we know that it works, but am I comfortable with these restrictions and measures? No, I wish it didn’t have to happen.”


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