January 7, 2021 1.04 pm This story is over 40 months old

“Not democracy as I know it”: Why the Lincoln MP rebelled against the latest lockdown

All other Greater Lincolnshire MPs voted in favour

The MP for Lincoln said “this is not democracy as I know it” after he rebelled against the latest lockdown vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

Karl McCartney was one of just 16 MPs who voted against restrictions and the only one in Greater Lincolnshire to rebel the new lockdown. 322 Tory MPs voted in favour, including Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh, who spoke against the lockdown in the debate.

His reasoning for voting against the third national lockdown was the negative economic impact on small businesses, the lost classroom days at schools and the outcomes for isolated constituents’ mental well-being.

Mr McCartney said he “had no choice in [his] mind and belief, but to vote against” the third lockdown.

“I also cannot in all good conscience ignore the damaging consequences that lockdowns have on the wellbeing of our society – of all ages

“This includes the hugely negative implications for many individuals’ psychological wellbeing and economic security,  both of which can have grave consequences for general health.

“Additionally, the mental wellbeing of school pupils is not fully being considered in my view with regard to school closures, and the decision to cancel the various external exams later in this school year.”

He added: “In the 21st Century surely we could, and should, have made provisions to ensure these went ahead.”

Votes by party on lockdown three. | Graph: UK Parliament

Here’s the full list of MP votes for Greater Lincolnshire:

  • Karl McCartney, Lincoln – No
  • Victoria Atkins, Louth and Horncastle – Aye
  • Gareth Davies, Grantham and Stamford – Aye
  • Sir John Hayes, South Holland and the Deepings – Aye
  • Caroline Johnson, Sleaford and North Hykeham – Aye
  • Sir Edward Leigh, Gainsborough – Aye
  • Matt Warman, Boston and Skegness – Aye
  • Lia Nici, Greater Grimsby – Aye
  • Andrew Percy, Brigg and Goole – Aye
  • Martin Vickers, Cleethorpes – Aye
  • Holly Mumby-Croft, Scunthorpe – Aye

Mr McCartney said: “There are various reasons for my vote yesterday evening, but especially as a libertarian Conservative, who holds the freedom loving values of the United Kingdom close to my heart, any proposal for restrictions on civil liberties is an extremely difficult decision to make and agree with — especially one which after ten months is extended with no checks for a further three months – a quarter of another year. That is not democracy as I know it.”

He said: “I fully understand the threat COVID-19 represents. I do hope that my constituents, the wider Lincolnshire electorate, and of course our fellow citizens of our nation follow the guidelines and laws as now laid out by our Prime Minister and government.”

The Lincoln MP finished: “There is light at the end of the tunnel for this crisis. Together, we will win the war against COVID-19, and I of course do hope that this is much sooner rather than later.”