Brexiteer MP branded hypocrite after fears government is removing freedoms

Steve Baker appearing on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Brexiteer MP Steve Baker on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

A leading Tory Brexiteer has been branded a hypocrite after accusing the government of trying to remove people's liberties.

Steve Baker, a former chair of the hard-line Eurosceptic Westminster group the European Research Group (ERG), said it was "only fair" MPs got a vote on coronavirus laws that would take away people's liberties before they came into effect.

Baker is one of several Tory backbenchers leading a rebellion against government moves to extend coronavirus emergency powers. 

The powers, introduced back in April, gave ministers the authority to introduce coronavirus restrictions without a vote in parliament. A vote on their extension is to take place this week.

Baker, along with a group of 40 Tory MPs, are trying to ram through an amendment that would force the government to consult with MPs before introducing new measures.

Speaking on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Baker said: "We're trying to put this right. And actually, it's a very modest proposal that MPs should vote on law before it comes into effect and takes away people's liberties."

Footage of the interview and an earlier appearance on BBC's Politics Live began circulating on Twitter and lead many users to accuse Baker of being a hypocrite because of his support for Brexit, which will see Britons no longer enjoy certain EU rights such as freedom of movement and trade.

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One pro-EU Twitter account tweeted: "He wasn't too concerned when he was involved in the illegalities that took away our liberties, our rights, our freedoms and protections."

One user said: "Yes how come @SteveBakerHW is so concerned about the rule of law all of a sudden? I don't recall him crying foul over the illegal prorogation of parliament, breaking international law... to get his insane Brexit over the line."

Another called Baker out on his voting record: "One example: he complained about queuing up to vote during summer, but voted for it. He's playing the side of the angels while voting for hell."

A third added: "Quite, can't take away their liberties but they are fine taking away our freedom of movement. Still furious."

"Does any Tory ever take responsibilities for their actions? Most normal people do!" added a fourth.

Another quipped: "It's *always* someone else's fault."

Angie Brooks wrote: "Rather unfair, the vote was when we did not know what to expect, he was upset in parliament when making explaining he reluctantly supported the Act and thanks to @SteveBakerHW
and a few others it got time limited from 2 years to 6 months. I say this as anti government strategy."

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