Boris Johnson faces a Tory revolt over his national coronavirus lockdown in a crunch commons vote today – with fears he will have to rely on Labor to push the plan through.
The draconian measures ordering people to stay home and close unnecessary shops, bars and restaurants for a month are due to come into effect from midnight.
But while Sir Keir Starmer's support means the Prime Minister is certain they will be stamped by MPs this afternoon, he is trying to contain a rising tide of anger on his own benches.
Despite the government's hopes that it has limited the extent of the mutiny, a number of politicians broke cover this morning to say they will oppose the crackdown.
Former Whip Chief Mark Harper, Ex-Secretary Steve Baker and Backbencher Peter Bone were among the banisters of "dubious" numbers Mr Johnson and his advisors came up with in support of the pressure.
The numbers released yesterday showed a 12 percent decrease in infections compared to last Tuesday, as 20,018 tested positive, while Boris Johnson has admitted the R-number is "just over one".
Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, has endorsed Lockdown as the most effective way to fight coronavirus until a vaccine arrives, but admitted that it is "economically and socially destructive".
Boris Johnson is expected to win a vote on a second suspension set to begin at midnight, but 15 of his MPs on the bench could defy the whip
Mr Whitty and Mr Patrick Patrick Vallance were brought before MPs yesterday to defend SAGE's modeling, which also predicted hospitals would be overcrowded with virus patients by the end of this month.
It came when Boris Johnson reassured that MPs England's second ban would end after four weeks, despite Michael Gove claiming it could be extended.
The Prime Minister said yesterday: “Whatever happens, these restrictions will end on December 2nd.
“I think there is a much better future if we can make these national measures a success and reopen them in December to give people the opportunity to shop and be economically active in the weeks leading up to Christmas and beyond will . & # 39;
Labor will support the government's lockdown vote after Keir Starmer repeatedly called for measures in the country to close pubs and restaurants while keeping schools and universities open
The chief medical officer backed the lockdown but admitted yesterday that the move was "economically and socially destructive". Covid-19 cases fell 12 percent on Tuesday from the previous week
Sir Patrick Vallance said a report predicting up to 4,000 was not released to scare people
During the barbecue by members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Labor MP Graham Stringer asked Sir Patrick if he believed he had scared people with the dire death dates presented during the press conference on Saturday night.
The Chief Scientific Adviser said, “I hope not and that is certainly not the goal … I think I positioned this as the scenario from a few weeks ago based on the assumption that I would get a new reasonable worst case scenario . And if that didn't come across, then I regret it.
In defense of the dossier, he added, “These numbers were made by large academic groups based on these assumptions, and in an attempt to ensure that things are shared and open, they are the things that we have seen (in the data) so far), and it's important and I think people see that. & # 39;
The death toll rose 8.17 percent from Tuesday after it was revealed that an additional 395 people have died from the virus today – bringing the country's death toll to 47,250
Health Department numbers were down 12.5 percent from last Tuesday when the numbers hit 22,885 but were higher than yesterday when cases hit 18,950
Top scientists at King & # 39; s College London today claimed the R-rate has already fallen to the crucial level of one in England
King academics, who have been tracking the size of the coronavirus outbreak since the summer, argued that infections are now "plateauing" and there was a "slight decline" in new cases across the UK last week. Pictured: The team's graphs show a flattening in cases in England and across the UK over the past week
AT A GLANCE: HOW VALLANCE AND WHITTY DEFENDED THE LOCKDOWN
SATURDAYS GLOOMY SLIDES
The couple admitted that what one MP called the "avalanche of data" they unveiled in Saturday's briefing may have been too much for the public to see.
Sir Patrick said, "I always want things to be simpler than them and clearer than they are … obviously some of these slides were pretty complicated."
Commenting on a table showing that some hospitals are already seeing more patients than in the spring, Professor Whitty admitted that it was "not an ideal slide".
But Sir Patrick defended the use of the now infamous graphic, which showed 4,000 deaths a day through December, saying it was scientifically valid and not "discredited" despite the backlash of the past few days.
"These are scenarios that are put together under assumptions," he said. "A reasonable worst-case scenario is something that you don't want but that could reasonably happen if things go in a certain direction."
TIER THREE WORKED – JUST NOT FAST enough
Professor Chris Whitty said he believes the local lockdown measures are working, but that the outbreak is too big for them to control on their own.
Professor Whitty said, “I am confident that tier two had an effect and that tier three had a greater effect.
“The communities in the North and Midlands in particular have responded remarkably. And because of this, I'm confident the rates are much lower than they would be without it.
"But the first signs we have right now is that this didn't bring the R below one – it brought it a lot closer to one – but it still doubles over time."
CHANCE OF LOCKDOWN ENDS DECEMBER 2nd
Whitty said the aim of the lockdown is to ensure that there is a "realistic possibility" for England to move to an "other state" after December 2nd.
He suggested that once the breaker ends, the country will hit a middle ground, likely with stricter restrictions than now, but not as severe as those that will precede them for the next month.
The second wave would be worse without tough measures
The scientists rammed home their warning that without tougher action than the slow local animal system, the second wave will get worse than the first.
They said they had discussed the prospect "almost daily" in meetings with government officials for the past month.
"I think we would all say the rates are likely to be lower than that peak, but I think reaching the peak we hit in April seems like a perfectly realistic situation to me," said Professor Whitty.
LOCKDOWN IS A DIFFICULT DECISION & # 39; BETWEEN BAD CHOICES & # 39; – BUT NOTHING TO DO WITH SCIENTISTS
Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick have repeatedly distanced themselves from the government's decision-making process, saying what action will actually be taken is out of their control.
They play no role in the economic impact assessment and could only provide scientific advice and help ministers interpret the data.
"These are very difficult choices, we have no illusions," said Professor Whitty.
“None of us have any illusions. We choose between bad decisions – none of us should shy away from them
Professor Whitty acknowledged that the prediction of 4,000 daily deaths was unlikely to come true because the modeling was a worst-case scenario based on a situation where no additional action was taken.
Meanwhile, police chiefs in the Northwest have warned that they will crack down on anyone who believes the restrictions can be disregarded.
In a joint open letter, the police chiefs of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria said they would specifically target those who organize musical events or other large gatherings, and those who refuse to self-isolate.
"For the minority who feel that the restrictions don't apply to them, be ready to face the consequences of stronger enforcement," they said.
Prior to the House of Commons vote, Mr Johnson warned of "deaths by the thousands" if action is not taken as cases continue to rise across the country.
At the same time, he tried to give hope, telling the cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the R-number – the virus's reproduction rate – was "just above 1" and the new measures would bring him back below that threshold.
In contrast to the last national lockdown in March, schools and colleges will remain open under the new controls, which are scheduled to run until December 2nd.
However, pubs and restaurants must close, with the exception of food stalls and supplies, as well as gyms, entertainment venues, and non-essential shops.
People are not allowed to interact with other households indoors and are only allowed to meet another person from another household outdoors.
However, there has been criticism of rules that mean that mass sports are banned by children outside of school.
Some Tories have also banned community worship, which meant that worship services had to be canceled on the occasion of Memorial Sunday.
In the House of Lords, senior peer Lord Cormack said it was "stupid" that veterans in their nineties were being forced to stand outside in the cold and rain because they weren't allowed into church.
However, key scientific advisor to the government, Sir Patrick Vallance, who presented evidence to the Commons Science and Technology Committee, said the restrictions would have to be seen as part of a "package of measures" to bring the R-Phrase below one.
“The danger of trying to take each one apart, and getting down to a lower level where you might say, 'Well, that doesn't really make a big difference', is that you keep cutting things out and then you get a sub-optimal package, ”he said.
The latest move is due to conflicting data on the current spread of the virus. The Covid Symptom Tracker app, run by King & # 39; s College London (KCL), suggests a slight decrease in new infections in England, Wales and Scotland.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the study, said it showed "a plateau and slight decline in new cases" with an R-number of 1.0.
However, data from the University of Cambridge's MRC Biostatistics Unit has shown the R-number to be above one in most regions, with an estimated 77,600 new infections per day across England.
It has been predicted that by mid-November the number of deaths per day is likely to be between 380 and 710.
Ministers hope that once restrictions are lifted, the government can revert to a tiered set of local restrictions for England depending on the rate of infection in a given area.
However, Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said the lockdown will spell the toughest border between England and Wales for "at least several centuries", banning travel between the two countries without a reasonable excuse.
The controls will come into effect once Wales prepares to end its two and a half week “ceasefire”. Schools, shops, pubs and restaurants are scheduled to reopen on Monday.
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