Great Britain

The lockdown sceptics on the backbenches are getting louder – Boris Johnson must not blink

Boris Johnson is gearing up for another battle with the lockdown sceptics on the Conservative backbenches. He will need to face them down. Despite the grim coronavirus figures, they are pressing him to publish a plan by 15 February for the current restrictions to be lifted from 8 March.

It is a totally unrealistic demand, given the threat from the new coronavirus variant. But that doesn’t stop the “economy first” brigade from making it. The 50 to 60 strong group are a minority of the 365 Tory MPs. But they make a lot of noise, and it is magnified by right-wing newspapers – something the hardline Brexiteers enjoyed.

The MPs know how to get under Johnson’s skin: by threatening to turn the restrictions into a leadership crisis. A premature attempt to do so misfired when Steve Baker, vice chair of the Covid Recovery Group, urged fellow Tory backbenches to warn government whips “the debate will become about the PM’s leadership if the government does not set out a clear plan for when our full freedoms will be restored”.

Football news:

Cavani has returned to training and is likely to play against Crystal Palace
Fabio Capello, Juventus played Rugby against the Port. Only Ronaldo and Chiesa can make a difference in this squad
Neymar: I posted how I was recovering from my injury, and I didn't get any messages saying, Wow, what a professional. No
Ole Gunnar Solscher: The work of the judges is very difficult and without additional pressure. We have to make their decisions
Joan Laporta: I'm sure Messi won't stay at Barca if I don't win the election. He gives the club 30% of revenue
Trent had idolized Gerrard since he was a kid, and he was in a fairy tale: he got Steven's care and the captain's armband. The story of a great relationship
Hazard's recovery from the injury is delayed. He probably won't play against Atletico on March 7