IN A MASSIVE blow the government, Bolton West’s Chris Green has resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in protest of the administration’s lockdown policy, claiming the ‘attempted cure is worse than the disease’.
In a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he stated that ‘There is a healthy debate on how we can eliminate this coronavirus or how we can live with it and this is being led by many distinguished academics, epidemiologists and other specialists… I believe that there are better alternatives to the Government’s approach, so I therefore tender my resignation’.
This comes as Johnson introduces the new three tier system of lockdown, in place of a nationwide approach as preferred by SAGE and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. This resignation comes as 42 Tory MPs voted against the 10pm curfew on pubs retrospectively, of which was initially put in place to curb increasing cases of the coronavirus. It was a vote which would have brought down the government had the Labour Party backed them, but only 23 voted with the Tory rebels, with former leader Jeremy Corbyn among them.
Bolton as a town had initially been placed under tougher restrictions due to increasing cases as well, but this was recently relaxed; the newest numbers showed a fall in cases. This allowed residents of the area to go to bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, albeit with the 10pm curfew and the rule of six still in place.
Green, an MP since 2015 and the first Conservative there since 1997, was appointed in his PPS role for the Department for Education in August 2019. This isn’t the first time Green has resigned from the government in disagreement over policy; as an arch Brexiteer, he stepped down from another PPS role over Theresa May’s handling of the matter, later submitting a letter of no confidence against her in November 2018.