One Tory MP told MailOnline the PM must bring forward the arbitrary dates in order to ‚maintain public confidence that we are getting our freedom as soon as possible‘. Steve Baker, of the Covid Recovery Group, called on No10 to ask SAGE to see whether the relaxation of restrictions could be safely brought forward.
Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said ‚reasonable people‘ will now be questioning why Mr Johnson does not speed up the easing of restrictions.
Meanwhile, the CRG’s Steve Baker echoed a similar sentiment as he said ‚the time has come for this dark chapter in our history to come to an end‘ amid fears of extending the Government’s draconian Covid powers.
The level of coronavirus infections is still high and the number of hospitalisations higher than they were during the first peak, Chris Whitty said.
However, the PM cannot ignore 63 of his own MPs. He knows how strongly they feel about lockdown easing. Some 53 Tories voted against his tiered system in December. He will probably want to renew some of the current restrictions when they expire on 31 March.
It comes as a group of Tory MPs call for a commitment to a „free life“ and ending of lockdown measures before May.
Senior backbencher Steve Baker said he wants the prime minister to „let us reclaim our lives, once and for all“.
Among the 18 Tories who signed the pledge that „All schools should open full-time to all pupils from Feb 22 to March 8 are former Cabinet minister Esther McVey, ex-ministers Steve Baker, Tim Loughton and Harriet Baldwin, and chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs Sir Graham Brady.