MPs agreed to extend emergency Covid powers for another six months without a vote yesterday.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons that the Coronavirus Act – which includes powers of house-arrest, school and business closures, and restrictions on gatherings – were ‘still necessary and proportionate’ after 223 Covid deaths were recorded – the highest daily count since March.
Though lockdown-sceptic Conservative backbenchers called the legislation ‘dystopian’, the Labour Party refused to oppose the renewal of the law until March next year – meaning that the draconian regulations were renewed without a formal parliamentary vote.
A review by the Government published last month outlined how seven of the remaining 27 temporary, non-devolved provisions in the Coronavirus Act would expire as part of the latest six-month review.
These included powers to prohibit or restrict events and gatherings as ‘most legal restrictions have been achieved under the Public Health Act, and so these powers have not been required’, according to the review.