Tonight, Boris Johnson survived the first Plan B vote. MPs approved new rules for masks – however, there is still a rebellion over Covid passes.

From 441 to 41 the Commons passed tighter guidelines on facial coverings. Two tellers counted as Noes. 40 Tories voted against the decision. 

Also, the House “nodded through” changes to eliminate isolation rules and daily testing of fully-vaccinated people. 

The biggest problems are still to come after Johnson’s desperate plea to Tory Covid rebels tonight, insisting that he will not hesitate to impose curbs against the Omicron variant.

He spoke to Conservative 1922 before several dramatic Commons votes and stressed that the PM wants the country to be ‘as liberated as possible’.

Backbenchers seem to have made demands to him to ensure they get another chance to speak if Plan C is adopted by the government during the Christmas recess. This could be more severe limits such as social distancing.   

Sajid Javid had been rated by the room as he claimed action was needed to reduce ‘unsustainable’ NHS pressure. Javid also stressed that Omicron infections are increasing at a rate of two-to three per day.

Tories MPs lined up to interview him. They wanted to know why he isn’t taking South Africa’s evidence seriously.

Bob Seely, backbencher, complained in one of his most punchy interventions that modeling of the virus’s path had been “hysterical”, substantially exaggerated, constantly overconfident and lurid”.

Desmond Swayne, a former minister, accused the premier creating a ministryof fear’ with ‘extraordinary extrapolations’ from limited data. 

After scores of MPs vowed not to obey the government whip, after new regulations rubber stamping Covid passes to nightclubs and major events and mandatory vaccinations for staff and health workers, the PM personally reached out to them. 

The scale of rebellion means that the PM, despite having an 80-strong Commons majority, will have to depend on Labour almost exclusively to pass the measures. Many ministerial aides threatened to quit, but they appear to have been convinced by Danny Kruger who said he received assurances that compulsory vaccination would never happen.

The Tories are also preparing for a bigger fight amid allegations ministers will shut down hospitality in the next few weeks should Omicron continue to thrive. 

Johnson told the ministers this morning that there is a “huge spike” in infection rates and held Cabinet virtually”.

An additional day of Covid chaos  

  • Nicola Sturgeon has heaped more pressure on Mr Johnson later by unveiling a new wave of Covid restrictions for Scotland; 
  • Jacob Rees Mogg warned the nation to ‘learn how to live with coronavirus’ in case of Cabinet friction; 
  • Rishi Sunak is alleged to have raised concerns over the cost of the booster jab drive.  
  • Sajid Javid has confirmed that the quarantine system is being scrapped and all countries will be removed.
  • The government’s booster drive has been hit with new setbacks, including huge booking queues and issues booking. There are also reports of test kit shortages.;
  • The coronavirus surges that swept the nation have been confirmed by three of Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet members.     
The Commons signed off the tighter rules on face coverings by 441 to 41, with 38 Tories defying the whip to oppose the move

By 441 to 41 the Commons approved tighter regulations on facial coverings, while 38 Tories defied the whip to reject the move

Former chief whip Mark Harper warned parliament must be recalled over Christmas if ministers want to impose tougher rules

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid was warned by Mark Harper, former chief whip, that Parliament must be recall over Christmas in case ministers try to impose harsher rules

Boris Johnson is facing a 70-strong Tory revolt over his 'Nazi-style' in crunch votes today as furious MPs branded them a 'softening up exercise' for harsher lockdown

Boris Johnson faces a Tory rebellion of 70 strong over his “Nazi-style” in crunch votes today. Furious MPs called them a softening up exercise’ for harsher lockdown.

Stephen McPartland said on Twitter today that he will be voting against the Plan B curbs

Stephen McPartland stated today on Twitter that he would vote against Plan B curbs

Members of the public queue to receive a dose of a Covid-19 jab at a vaccination centre in south Manchester today

Today, members of the public stand in line to get a Covid-19 shot at south Manchester’s vaccination center.

There were long queues at another vaccination centre on Solihull High Street in the West Midlands today

Another West Midlands vaccine centre was jammed today on Solihull High Street. 



NHS England was put on the highest level of alert for the first time since March. Level four means health bosses believe there is a real threat that an expected influx of Covid patients could start to force the closure of other vital services

For the first time since March, NHS England has been placed on high alert. The fourth level indicates that health officials believe there is an imminent threat from a large influx of Covid-related patients, which could lead to the closing of other vital services.

Sturgeon adds more pressure to PM through a new wave of Covid curbs 

Nicola Sturgeon reintroduced social ditancing, asking Scots not to socialize in the lead up to Christmas.

Holyrood was told by the First Minister that pubs, restaurants, and shops must take steps to prevent crowding or queues.

She also asked Scots not to allow indoor mixing in more than three homes. The advice won’t be enforced in law but Ms Sturgeon stated that the employer will have to permit staff members to work at home if they wish.

Ms. Sturgeon stated that she did not intend to place restrictions on Christmas celebrations.

She stated that if you are turning to Christmas Day in particular, Christmas Eve or Boxing Day at any time, you are free to make changes or cancel those plans. There are no limits to the number of family gatherings and they are not asking for you to do so.

My main request for today is to reduce social mixing between households and other families before and right after Christmas.

“However, you must limit your socializing to three households if you plan on doing so at home and indoors public places. Also, make sure that you do your research before you travel.

Boris Johnson was also criticized by her, claiming that it was unacceptable that no funding was available to the UK Government for businesses that are affected by her measures. 

According to The Sun, Whitehall officials made proposals to restrict the amount of people permitted in restaurants and pubs. In case of more stringent restrictions, contingency plans are available to support businesses and bring back furlough. 

These options, however, are alarming the top PM’s team, Jacob Rees Mogg insisting in his regular podcast that America must learn to live with coronavirus.     

The main concern of Tory rebels today in Westminster is the Covid passes. There are anger over their ‘illogicality’ and infringement of civil liberty. Yesterday, Mr. Javid stated that booster jabs would be required in the future to ensure the pass’s success. 

A broad coalition opposes mandatory vaccination of NHS staff and care workers, as well as unhappiness about the impact on the economy of returning to the work from home guidance for city and town centre businesses during a critical time of year when people are not going back to their workplaces. 

Because Sir Keir Sterner has directed Labour MPs support Plan B, the Plan B measures will not be in danger.

The Commons Mutiny may wipe out Johnson’s majority, and even eclipse Johnson’s biggest rebellion yet. In December last year 54 Tories voted in opposition to the tier system. It could prove to be more powerful than the revolt of 80 people that drove David Cameron from promising the EU referendum. 

Mr Javid told MPs: ‘Omicron is a grave threat. To slow the spread of it, we acted quickly by strengthening our testing system and placing 11 countries onto the travel redlist.

“But despite the swift steps taken, data from the last few days have shown more reason for concern. Today, I would like to remind the House and all honorable Members why Omicron poses such a danger to our collective progress.

A number of Tories intervened and asked for assurances that there would be another vote in the event that the government decided to take it further.  

Mark Harper, former chief whip said that Harper was able to make that statement at the despatchbox if further Government measures were taken to address Omicron during recess. That the Government would recall House of Commons to ensure that all evidence is available and that they can participate in making those decisions for the constituents that we represent.

M. Javid responded, “I’m not able give that promise alone. It wouldn’t be an easy decision for me or my department, but it’s something I believe the Government will seriously consider.”

Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell) asked when we will know if Omicron causes severe or mild diseases. How quickly can we decide if Omicron is mild or severe?

Andrew Bridgen, a fellow Tory, highlighted remarks made by the South African Medical Association’s head that Omicron was a mild form of Covid-19 and would have “huge benefits” for herd immunity as well as protection.

Javid added that, even though the Omicron hospital stay is only half what other Covid variants are at the moment (at the rate this thing is growing), that could lead to the loss of the Omicron benefit in 2 days. 

Mister Seely, Isle of Wight MP, gave a scathing assessment of how the government is releasing information.

“Will the academic accept that many have doubted his previous forecasts? They describe them as being hysterical and substantially overinflated. He replied.

“We’ve had an issue with inaccuracies forecasts. He will accept this point.

Mr. Javid stated: “Yes, I accept that point. With previous Covid variants, we’ve seen estimates and forecasts (from academics as well as think tanks) that are completely out of date.

However, he went on: ‘Just because forecasts in the past… have been wrong it doesn’t mean to say every estimate or forecast is always wrong.’

Sir Desmond made a tiring outburst accusing Mr Johnson of starting a ministry for fear’.

On a typical winter day, he said that between 200 and 350 people would die from flu. He asked: “Do we hide behind the mask?” Are we content to work from our homes? Is it fair to demand people prove their identity before entering a venue? Is it necessary for people to have vaccinated before they can keep their job?

He also asked MPs to consider some of these ‘extraordinary exaggerations’.

He asked which ‘Stalinist minds’ had thought up the name behind the UK Health Protection Agency, adding: ‘Get them out there twisting the fear button and by and large you will get the reaction you want – people will crave more enforcement and more fearsome measures to protect them from this great danger that is out there.’

Sir Desmond stated: “The Government has administered this ministry to fear and is completely complicit with the officials and organizations that designed and delivered it.

“They’ve abandoned in doing so any principle or social democracy, of liberalism, beyond all we have endured in the recent past living memory of this pandemic.”

“And because they abandoned any ideology they might have had, they now find themselves rudderless. This puts them at greater risk for the advices and forecasts of their advisers.

Conservative MP Luke Evans, a Conservative MP said that he would not support Covid passed. He told the Commons: ‘I worry about a slippery slope. Which businesses, which society interactions or infections might be in reach in the coming months and years?

Greg Clark, an ex-Conservative cabinet minister, said that it appeared there was confusion over Covid’s purpose. 

A spokesperson for the PM stated that the Cabinet decision was made to meet remotely ‘in view of increasing numbers of cases and our recommendation to work from home whenever possible. 

Pressed on why Cabinet was virtual but MPs would have to vote in person tonight, the spokesman said: ‘I think my understanding is the Speaker, working with the Leader, on measures in place for voting, I don’t have the full detail but I believe they might be expanding the time allowed for votes.’

The spokesman for the company said that they have not changed their position about whether Christmas parties should be continued. 

“As I’ve said, the Prime Minister believes that we have a proportionate approach. Given what we know and the protection measures in place, we don’t want to shut down hospitality.

“That is not a plan in Plan B.” However, we encourage all who plan to attend parties and spend time with others in an enclosed area to have their equipment tested. We also recommend that they continue to pay attention to things such as ventilation and respiratory hygiene.

There is little evidence that the Tory rebellion has slowed down. Critics are focusing on confusion following Mr Javid’s suggestion yesterday of 200,000 Omicron cases – this would suggest it is expanding even faster. 

MailOnline was told by Steve Baker, Tory rebel leader: “Public confidence depends on ministers clearly grasping facts. They can’t ask the right questions, if they aren’t fully aware of the facts. This does nothing to convince me that my vote for No is a mistake. 

After talks with Johnson on Tuesday morning, Mr Kruger stated he will support the government after speaking to Sajid Javid (Health Secretary), who was understood to have had spoken to at most one ministerial assistant the night prior.

He warned that he was ‘profoundly worried’ about mass surveillance and the’segregation or punishment of those who refuse medical intervention offered by state’.

“I don’t think that this is the place anyone wants to be in Government,” he said. He wrote that he spoke with the Prime Minister and Health Secretary this morning.

Kruger indicated that they both stressed the need to avoid another mandatory lockdown and said there won’t be any compulsory vaccinations. Health passes will not allow for negative lateral flow tests.

‘On this basis – thus far and no further – I am happy to support the measures this evening,’ he concluded.

Downing Street reported that the PM had told the virtual Cabinet of a ‘huge spike in Omicron’. The measures the government aims to implement as Part of Plan B are balanced and proportionate. This will help to decrease transmission and increase the booster program.

As if there were tensions, Rees-Mogg warned via his ConservativeHome podcast: “You must learn to live in harmony with Covid at the end.” The economy cannot be turned off every few months.

When asked if that was the intention of the government, the spokesperson for the PM said “Certainly not.”

A Cabinet source said that Whitty gave the impression of being grim during Whitty’s Whitty briefing. It was clear that he implied that hospitals could be in trouble if they don’t get better. No10, however insists that it wasn’t a warning that any hospital would close on a particular date.

According to reports, lockdown-sceptic ministers have begun to worry about even more stringent rules. Jacob Rees Mogg’s allies told MailOnline that he is asking MailOnline: “How far can we go?”

Some ministers also raised eyebrows over Sajid’s claim that 200,000 Omicron infections were being contracted per day. Another hawkish Cabinet source laughed. “What are you going to do with this? 

Tobias Ellwood, a former minister said that Covid passes are ‘illogical. While there may be practical implications, the issue is that people can go to venues with “proof of having had two jabs”, which could have been done six months back, so even if you are carrying a new mutation, it could still prove they were Covid-positive.”

He stated, “Leadership means taking people to places they might not have realized they were going to, but they must also understand the plan. At the moment this seems illogical.”

“If Covid can show up at large venues with just one piece of paper and the documentation that you received six months prior to your jabs, then that won’t stop him from getting in.”

An ex-minister charges the PM with creating a “ministry for fear” 

Boris Johnson has been accused of creating an “ministry of Fear” by ex-minister in an exporiating outburst.

Sir Desmond Swayne gave a passionate speech stating that flu will kill between 200 and 350 people on a typical winter day.

“Do we cover up behind our masks? Are we content to work from our homes? Is it fair to demand people prove their identity before entering a venue? Are we requiring people to get vaccinated in order for them to keep their jobs? He inquired.

Sir Desmond asked if MPs would consider some of their ‘extraordinary extrapolations’ given by scientists.

He stated that “These are possible events and that we must balance them against the cost and damage that enterprise, economy, and society will suffer.”

He asked which ‘Stalinist minds’ had thought up the name behind the UK Health Protection Agency, adding: ‘Get them out there twisting the fear button and by and large you will get the reaction you want – people will crave more enforcement and more fearsome measures to protect them from this great danger that is out there.’

Sir Desmond stated that the Government had administered this Ministry of Fear and was therefore complicit in its administration with officials and other organisations who designed it.

“They have completely abandoned any principle of social or liberal democracy in this act. This is a pandemic unlike anything that we have ever experienced in our recent history.

“They have given up on what may have been their ideology and they now find themselves rudderless. This puts them at greater risk for the advices and forecasts of those to whom they are under hock.

Stephen McPartland, a fellow Conservative, said that he would vote against curbs. ‘We know Plan B measures don’t make any sense & are just softening us us up for more restrictions in next few weeks,’ he tweeted. 

‘The impact on mental health, cancelled surgeries & diagnostics is intolerable for families.’ 

Dominic Raab risked inflaming the tensions in interviews this morning as he dismissed ‘overstated’ criticism about the measures to combat the Omicron strain. Mr Raab, whose Jewish father fled Czechoslovakia in 1938, dismissed backbencher Marcus Fysh’s comparison between Covid passes and the oppressive Hitler regime as ‘crass’ and ‘inappropriate’.  

Sky News interviewed him: “Even though you’ve not had the booster or the double jab, you can still trust the lateralflow test. That’s why some of these worries about it are overstated.”

Raab continued: “If you’re going to a crowd venue to protect your safety and the safety of others, then I believe that most people will think it is reasonable to do so.

“I do not think that this is a major step, or slippery slope. But I understand your concerns. That’s why it’s important to have an open debate.”

Raab was furious at Mr Raab’s comparison of the coronavirus-related health passing to Nazi atrocities. He stated that he didn’t enjoy this type of language, and that it wasn’t appropriate. “I do not think it is fair to compare what we’re trying to accomplish to an authoritarian regime or a Nazi one. It’s a common sentiment among many people.

However, the deputy PM said that further measures could be considered in Christmas and New Year.

When asked if Christmas would be safe, Raab responded: “Yes. I believe it is.” That is what I would like to reassure you with. People can enjoy Christmas with their loved ones like they did last year.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Tory leader, has acknowledged being concerned about mixed messages coming from government. Mark Harper, the chair of Covid Recovery Group said that it was not acceptable to continue governing the country by decree.

According to one backbencher, these restrictions will lead to even more severe restrictions. We’ll probably be using Plan X, Y and Z before Christmas.  

Another claimed that’scare stories about additional curbs than Plan B’ had actually had the opposite effect and empowered the rebels.

The Tory whips were said to have ordered the thumbscrews to put an end to the revolt. This was to inform junior Government officials that they must quit if they vote for Covid vaccine passports. 

According to reports, ministers and whips also shared internal polling that was commissioned by Cabinet Office. It showed that public favors restrictions on ‘Plan B’ and caution when it comes to the so-called Omicron variant.

In an excoriating outburst, former minister Desmond Swayne accused Mr Johnson of creating a 'ministry of fear'

Former minister Desmond Swayne blasted Johnson for creating a “ministry fear” in an outburst.

The First Minister announced this afternoon further measures required in response to the growing outbreak of the Omicron variant.

This afternoon, the First Minister announced further steps needed to address the Omicron variant’s growing spread.

While Mr Johnson refused to rule out additional restrictions prior to Christmas yesterday, he reiterated the need for boosters and stressed that people should get them immediately. He said that any MPs considering rebelling against Plan B should recognize the fact there’s no place for complacency when dealing with Omicron. 

Johnson set a deadline for all under-18s to receive a third vaccination by New Year’s Day.

However, concerns over whether or not the government could achieve the target were immediately raised after the 8pm television announcement by Johnson. The health system never received more than 850,000 jabs per day, even at its peak in the March NHS vaccine drive.

A booster can be obtained for anyone 18 years old or older in England starting this week, provided the last dose occurred at least three months prior. Online bookings for boosters are available to those over 30. This will also be possible starting Wednesday.

Ten people with Omicron have been admitted to hospital in the UK, marking their first Omicron-related death. The majority of the 10 people have had two vaccinations. They range from age 18-85, but there is no information on whether or not they may have other conditions.

Javid informed MPs that there are 4,713 Omicron-related cases confirmed in the UK. The UK Health Security Agency also indicated that approximately 200,000 Omicron-related daily infections have been recorded.

He stated that Omicron accounts for over 20 percent of England’s cases, but it is already at over 44% in London. In the coming 48 hours Omicron will be the predominant Covid 19 variation in London.

The Government reported that there had been an additional 54,661 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Monday morning.

In order to combat Omicron (which is responsible for around 200,000 new infections each day), the NHS must administer more than 840,000 booster shots per day according to the Health Secretary.

According to Mr Javid, every adult in England should be given a chance to feel more energetic by December’s end. However, he said that not all people would receive the same dose.

He stated that it was asking too much of the NHS colleagues. We all agree that it is possible to give adults the chance of getting boosted before the month ends. However, not everyone will be able to get the boost. They must also accept the offer and make use of everything in this massive expansion plan.

This is because there’s confusion as to whether the Government promised everyone a vaccine by the deadline of December 31 or just offered a chance at a future one. 

The Commons were informed by Mr Javid that the UK had delivered over 840,000 jabs in one day. This is a challenge that we must not only match, but also beat every day. However, we have the ability to do so and we have a plan.

“We will open more vaccine sites. These sites include mobile and pop up sites. We’ll also be available seven days a semaine.

“We train thousands of more volunteers vaccinators. We’re asking pharmacies and GPs to do more. And we’re creating 42 military planning teams in every part of the country.

Javid acknowledged that “our national mission involves some difficult tradeoffs”, meaning some urgent appointments as well as surgery in the NHS might be cancelled.

He stated that these are not steps any Health Secretary would choose to take, but that they have far greater health risks if it isn’t prioritized now.  

Javid also encouraged people to get boosters in order to protect children.

Robert Halfon was the Conservative Chairman of Education Select Committee. He asked Mr. Javid to ensure that schools were open during January.

Javid explained that one of the main reasons for taking the actions we’ve suggested, especially in relation to expanding the booster programme is to ensure we can prioritize our children’s needs.

Anti-vaxx protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Monday

Protesters against anti-vaxx demonstrations outside Houses of Parliament, London on Monday

Downing Street stated that schools would be open until there was an “absolute health emergency” and cautioned local authorities not to shut down early Christmas.

The official spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that there were no plans to restrict schooling. He also stated, “We know how important education is and how harmful the pandemic has proven to be towards young children and people who have, in many instances, borne the brunt,”