Boris’s vaccine passports on the brink of collapse: Labour could join Tory rebels in voting against plan because ‘a negative test is worth more than being double-jabbed’, party source reveals
- Lbour signalled it could join Tory rebels and vote against vaccine passports
- Government announced proof of double vaccine will be a ‘condition of entry’ to nightclubs and other busy venues from September
- Senior Labour source said ministers should require a negative test instead
Labour signalled last night that it could join Tory rebels in voting against vaccine passports as Cabinet ministers questioned whether they would ever come into use.
The Government announced this week that proof of double vaccination will be a ‘condition of entry’ to nightclubs and other busy venues from September.
But a senior Labour source said ministers should require a negative test instead – as even the fully-vaccinated can spread coronavirus.
‘For nightclubs, sporting events or whatever it may be, a negative test is worth more than being double-jabbed,’ the source said.
Cabinet ministers are also critical of the plan, with one questioning whether it was being floated just to encourage young people to get the jab.
Labour (pictured: leader Sir Keir Starmer) signalled last night that it could join Tory rebels in voting against vaccine passports as Cabinet ministers questioned whether they would ever come into use
They said it would be unnecessary if 85 per cent of young people are jabbed by September.
‘I don’t know if it will actually ever happen. There are no advocates of policy,’ one minister said.
The controversial plan was raised at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where support is thought to have been thin.
Some ministers also fear that the passports could be extended to pubs – something Boris Johnson has failed to rule out. Downing Street yesterday could not provide any examples where venues had voluntarily used Covid passports outside of trials.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that ‘a number of nightclubs and other settings’ used them during pilot events, and stressed it was ‘socially responsible’ for businesses to use them. But pushed on whether there was evidence they were being used, he added: ‘I don’t have specific numbers for you on who is or isn’t using it at the moment, it will be required by law by September.’
The requirement for Covid passports to enter venues in England will need a change in the law, which more than 40 MPs have already vowed to oppose.
Some ministers also fear that the passports could be extended to pubs – something Boris Johnson (pictured) has failed to rule out
With Labour support, the Tory rebels could defeat the Government’s 80-strong majority in a Commons vote.
Nightclub owners have also criticised the plan, which was announced on Monday – the day England’s clubs were allowed to open for the first time since March last year.
It came only a week after ministers said while they encouraged nightclubs and crowded venues to use the NHS Covid Pass it would not be compulsory. The Government had previously insisted proof of a negative test would be part of the Covid passport – ensuring those who decided not to be vaccinated or who medically were unable to have the jab were not discriminated against. A spokesman for Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘We oppose the use of Covid vaccination status for everyday access to venues and services. It’s costly, open to fraud and is impractical.’
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: ‘We need a united front against these illiberal and unworkable proposals and a national campaign through the summer to convince the Government to change course.’