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Govt delays vote on 10pm curfew as opposition mounts

Published:  07 October, 2020

The government has delayed a vote in the House of Commons on the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.

The vote was scheduled for this evening but is now expected to take place next week.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is facing increasing pressure from his backbenches about the restrictions he has placed on everyday life as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of parliamentary oversight for the measures he has introduced.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that “dozens” of Conservative MPs are planning to defy the government and vote against the curfew.

Conservative MP Steve Baker, one of the organisers of the rebellion, told the Telegraph: "It is not clear what the evidence is to support the 10pm curfew or that it is effective.”

The Labour Party has yet to confirm whether it will support the government on the curfew.

However shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has questioned the impact of the curfew on controlling the virus and called for “a rapid and transparent review of all the evidence” behind the decision to impose it.

It has been reported that the Sage committee of scientists advising the government on the handling of the pandemic neither discussed nor recommended a 10pm curfew.

The news of the vote’s postponement follows UK Hospitality’s call for the curfew to be lifted.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls gave evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee yesterday on the damage the curfew and other restrictions are doing to the hospitality sector.