'I can't support Covid plan B': Suffolk MP

Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has said he cannot support the government's new coronavirus plan B - Credit: House of Commons

A Suffolk MP has said he "cannot support" the government's coronavirus plan B, which will see face masks compulsory in most indoor venues and the introduction of the vaccine passport. 

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt will vote against the plans on Tuesday announced by the prime minister to tackle the rising number of Omicron cases in the UK. 

In a tweet, Mr Hunt said: "After much thinking I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t support Covid plan B.

"I just don’t think the justification is there and I fear that the mindset/logic that led to it could well lead to a gradual creep towards more and more draconian restrictions."

Some Suffolk and Essex MPs have also weighed in on the upcoming vote, saying that the measures are "proportionate and appropriate".

 MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous said he will be voting for the measures as they are "the right thing to be doing".

He said: "We don't know the severity of the new omicron variant, what we do know is it is spreading very quickly."

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich said: "Evidence about the impact of the Omicron variant is beginning to emerge and early indications are concerning, but it will be another two to three weeks before we have a clearer picture about how the variant will impact upon Suffolk and the UK.

"So, the Plan B measures which include encouraging home working where possible, are proportionate and appropriate given what we know so far about the omicron variant."

However the number of Covid-19 cases are currently lower than they were in October both nationally and in Suffolk. 

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Suffolk's director of public health, Stuart Keeble believes the restrictions have been brought in now due to uncertainty of the impact of the new variant Omicron.

Mr Keeble said: "It's about trying to get ahead of the curve because it always takes two to three weeks for the impact of those decisions.

"There is uncertainty around Omicron, our understanding is growing and developing. What we do know is that the doubling rate is every three to five days which is extremely rapid."

The vote will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, December 14, with the measures expected to pass despite reports of a significant number of Conservative rebels. 

It is not yet clear if Mr Hunt will vote against plan B or abstain.