MPs have voted to extend the government’s COVID restrictions - what does this mean and how did your MP vote?

Despite a number of Conservative rebels the motion to extend the government’s Covid powers another six months passed last night

MPs have voted to extend the government’s COVID restrictions - what does this mean and how did your MP vote? (Photo: Shutterstock)

MPs have voted to extend the government’s emergency Covid powers for another six months, by a majority of 408 votes.

Despite passing with ease, the vote prompted a significant rebellion from Tory backbenchers, with 35 voting against the party line to oppose the extension.

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Senior Conservatives who voted against the motion include former ministers David Davis and Esther McVey.

Labour supported the government on the vote, although 21 Labour MPs did vote against the government to reject the extension.

This is the third time MPs have had to vote on the emergency Covid powers, and the second time they have been extended since they were introduced in March 2020.

While the vote will extend the potential use of the powers for six months, this doesn’t mean they will keep restrictions in place all throughout that period.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would like to guarantee they will not be needed by then, but added: “Given the last year, I think a prediction would be hasty"

What do the powers include?

The powers, which were first introduced at the outset of the Covid crisis last year, give the government wide-ranging abilities to manage the pandemic.

These include powers to shut down pubs and other venues, detain people due to Covid concerns, prevent tenant evictions and provide statutory sick pay to people self-isolating.

However, critics of the extension describe the powers as “draconian” and argue that the government should only seek to extend them until the end of the roadmap plan, in June.

Speaking to Sky News, former chief whip and head of the Covid Recovery Group, Mark Harper, said: “The biggest problem today is the extension of some very significant draconian powers in the Coronavirus Act which the Government doesn't want to extend until June, it actually wants to extend all the way into October.

"And these are quite significant powers; they are powers, for example, for the police to detain people indefinitely and to continue having powers to shutdown events and so forth all the way through to October.

He added: "And I haven't heard a single good answer about why the Government wishes to do that, given that the Prime Minister has said he wants to be out of all of our legal restrictions by June.”

How did your MP vote?

The vote generally broke down along party lines, although there were rebels and a handful of abstentions from each of the two main parties.

The Scottish National Party abstained on the vote.

If you’re reading on a computer, you can hit ‘CTRL’ and ‘F’, then type in the name of your MP to quickly see which way they voted.