UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reprimanded by the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday for treating lawmakers with contempt for going through sweeping COVID-19 restrictions without proper scrutiny.
In a rare intervention by the Chief Officer of the House of Commons, Lindsay scolded Hoyle Johnson before his weekly question-and-answer session for making rules in “utterly unsatisfactory” ways.
Johnson, who is due to hold a press conference with the government’s chief scientists at 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) grapples with a rapidly spreading second wave of the coronavirus outbreak and growing anger over restrictions placed on citizens.
“The way in which the government exercised its powers to issue secondary legislation during this crisis has been completely unsatisfactory,” Hoyle told Parliament.
Hoyle, who has debated and is the highest authority in the House of Commons, added that he hoped the government would no longer “treat it with the contempt it has shown”.
The UK, which has the worst official death toll in Europe, reported 7,143 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest single number to date.
Parts of the UK and millions of citizens are subject to local restrictions to slow the second wave of COVID-19 infections. The UK has reported more than 42,072 deaths from the virus – the fifth highest total in the world.
Johnson, who had to apologize after worrying about local lockdown rules, faces growing anger within his own Conservative Party over the toughest restrictions in the history of peace that are destroying parts of the economy.
Several conservative lawmakers on Wednesday threatened to rebel against the government over the renewal of the coronavirus law.
Rebellion would undermine Johnson’s authority, and ministers have tried to defuse any revolt by promising parliament they would involve them more.
However, the speaker said he would not allow parliament to vote on an amendment by senior Conservative Graham Brady that could have forced the government to seek parliamentary approval before further national restrictions were imposed.
“We need prior approval of measures, important measures at the national and regional levels, that are taking away people’s freedoms,” Steve Baker, a well-known rebel lawmaker in the party, told the BBC.
When Johnson grappled with both COVID-19 and party dissent, the economic damage was exposed. The UK economy contracted a record 19.8% in the second quarter of 2020 – more than any other large advanced economy.
“We will do everything we can to save every job,” Johnson told Parliament.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)