Matt Hancock told he's not acting 'like a Conservative' by Brexiteer

Tory Brexiteer MP Philip Davies in the House of Commons

Tory Brexiteer MP Philip Davies in the House of Commons - Credit: Parliament Live

A Tory Brexiteer MP has told Matt Hancock he needs to "start acting like a Conservative" in the House of Commons.

The comments were made in anger to the proposals from the health secretary to tackle the coronavirus.

In a clash in the House of Commons, backbencher Philip Davies stood up in front of MPs to tell him that he was taking a "socialist approach" to leadership, and was presiding over the "nanny state".

He Davies said: "Is the Secretary of State aware of the damage the arbitrary 10pm curfew is doing to pubs, restaurants, bowling alleys and casinos? Is he aware of the jobs that are being lost, all just to see people congregating on the streets instead and shop staff getting more abuse?

"When will the Secretary of State start acting like a Conservative with a belief in individual responsibility and abandon this arbitrary, nanny state, socialist approach which is serving no purpose at all apart from the further collapse of the economy and eroding our freedoms?"

But rather than criticise the MP for his opposition to his coronavirus measures, Hancock "paid tribute" to the Tory.

He said: "I am going to pay tribute to my honourable friend, and for the following reason. There are some people who rail against some of the measures that we have to put in place, and of course I understand the impact they have, but there are reasons for each one of them—and collectively they are vital for the strategy that we are pursuing of suppressing the virus and protecting the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine arrives.

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"[He] does not agree with that strategy, and that is a perfectly honourable position; it is just something I profoundly disagree with him on. Indeed, last night he was one of the handful of colleagues who voted against the renewal of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

But a defiant Hancock told him: "It is perfectly reasonable to make the argument that we should just let the virus rip; I just think that the hundreds of thousands of deaths that would follow is not a price that anyone should pay."

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