March 26, 2021 12.47 pm This story is over 34 months old

Karl McCartney was the only Lincolnshire MP to vote against extending Coronavirus Act

He’s against “extending the authoritarian powers”

By Local Democracy Reporter

Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln, was the only Lincolnshire Member of Parliament to vote against the government’s plans to extend emergency coronavirus powers for another six months.

The vote means that the government can now legally enforce COVID-19 regulations and lockdowns until October, when it will next be reviewed.

Government officials are saying that the extension of the Coronavirus Act allows for schemes such as furlough to carry on legally.

It does not guarantee that lockdown will be extended to this date, but that the government can act quickly if the pandemic situation worsens.

The Coronavirus Act extension was passed on Thursday after an overwhelming majority of MPs voted in favour.

484 MPs voted yes and 76, including Karl McCartney, Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas, voted no.

Mr McCartney was the only MP in Lincolnshire to vote against the extension of the act, and was one of just 36 Conservatives to do so.

Karl McCartney said: “For so many reasons, as I have made clear in the past, I voted with a heavy heart against renewing the temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act for a further six months yesterday  — this is, as avid UK political followers will realise, three months beyond the government ‘roadmap’ supposed end.

“It is concerning to me, and a growing number of my Conservative Party colleagues and fellow backbenchers, that a further renewal in October until March 2022 was not ruled out by our Government.

“There is another way, but extending the authoritarian powers that our government has assumed in the past 12 months is not warranted in my view, and goes against my, and many other people’s, libertarian outlook, morals and principles.”

On March 16, Karl McCartney voted in favour of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would give officers greater power to stop protests.

It included new laws to protect historic monuments and statues, and looked to criminalise protests, with up to ten years imprisonment as punishment for breaking these rules.

This bill has been heavily opposed, particularly in Grantham where the Conservative Club was spray painted with anti-government slogans in favour of the ‘Kill The Bill’ movement.