Politics

Covid: Tory MP claims Sturgeon wants ‘perpetual lockdown’ and England’s plan better

A SENIOR Conservative MP has accused the Scottish Government of failing to trust the public and creating an unsuccessful coronavirus plan.

Jacob Rees-Mogg was speaking in the House of Commons this morning when he was questioned by veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart.

Mr Wishart urged the Leader of the House to bring back virtual parliamentary proceedings as they have done at Holyrood, arguing that the lack of remote measures creates a risk of virus transmission.

Mr Wishart repeatedly said Mr Rees-Mogg should “turn it back on” with reference to virtual proceedings, adding: “Yesterday the Scottish Parliament sat for an emergency session to discuss the Omicron crisis in Scotland. It was all virtual, all elected MSPs could participate in the sitting with absolutely no risk whatsoever to the staff on the Holyrood estate.

“Yesterday this house also met for the first time after the Christmas recess. It was entirely in person, in a 19th century building with practically no social distancing measures in place.”

Mr Wishart said that around 1 in 20 people across the UK are now expected to have Covid, and 1 in 15 in England, meaning “that some 50s MPs must now be off with COVID”

He said: “That means that 50 MPs can’t represent their constituents, can’t participate in legislation…

“With one simple measure he could resolve all this-  turn it back on, turn it back on, bring back the hybrid parliament and proxy voting for the sake of democracy. Turn it back on for the sake of keeping everybody in this estate safe and secure. Turn it back on for the sake of all of us being able to represent our constituents, turn it back on turn it back on, turn it back on.”

However in reply the Tory MP said Mr Wishart did not enjoy doing his job from parliament, and hit out at the Scottish coronavirus regulations.

He said they were less effective than England’s, and accused Nicola Sturgeon of wanting to enforce a “perpetual” lockdown on Scots.

He said: “The SNP have decided to take a very different route.

“They don’t believe in trusting people to make decisions for themselves. They believe in constant perpetual lockdown, which as I understand it, the leader of the SNP has herself accepted did not go as well as anticipated.”

He added: “It has not been a success, what they have done in Scotland.

“What we have done in the rest of the United Kingdom –  in England – has worked better by trusting people and we should trust people, we should continue to trust people and people like the [Pete Wishart] should not be afraid to do the work that they have to do.”

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