And Some Were More Equal Than Others: MPs Exempt from Vaccine Passports in Commons

Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle heads to the Lords chamber through the Central Lobby during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on December 19, 2019. - The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of …
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Hundreds crowded onto the floor shouting to be heard over the noise, inappropriate sexual touching, and cocaine in the toilets. Nightclubs and Britain’s Parliament may be less different than you might imagine, but only one of these venues will require attendees to submit to compulsory injections for admission this year.

In yet another example of double standards during the pandemic, members of parliament will not be required to present a vaccine passport to attend meetings of the House of Commons, the Speaker has announced.

While the average Briton will need to present their vaccination status to attend large public gatherings and even nightclubs by the Autumn, MPs will not be subjected to the same treatment when they gather in their hundreds in the House of Commons.

The leader of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, Tory MP Mark Harper said that Boris Johnson’s definition of large groups could see the House of Commons fall under the health pass requirements, particularly during Prime Minister’s Questions when hundreds of MPs typically gather.

“It’d be outrageous if the executive were to attempt to prevent any Member of Parliament attending this House to represent our constituents without first undergoing a medical procedure,” Harper said per The Telegraph.

The Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle responded: “I have had no indication that the Government considers the policy he’s mentioned should apply to this House. There is nothing to stop a member coming into here, you have the right to come to this House unless this House otherwise says so.

“The Government’s not been in touch. I don’t expect them to be in touch because, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t apply to members.”

The exemption for MPs has been taken by some as another example in the string of ‘rules for thee but not for me’ actions taken by the government during the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party referenced George Orwell’s Animal Farm in response to the revelation, writing on social media: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”

The hypocrisy of the government was perhaps best demonstrated when Health Secretary Matt Hancock was resigned after it emerged that he had breached the very lockdown restrictions he frequently promoted by having a romantic affair with a top staffer.

Despite the apparently clear violation of the lockdown restrictions, police have so far refused to investigate Mr Hancock, a luxury which has not been afforded to many anti-lockdown activists or indeed members of the public charged with breaches of the lockdown.

Another notable example of the double standards came last year, when ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Fergusson breached his own lockdown restrictions when he visited his married lover, who was herself self-isolating at the time.

While Fergusson initially stepped down from his government position, he has since returned to an advisory role, again leading the media push to continue lockdown diktats.

There has been growing opposition within the Commons to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest u-turn on domestic vaccine passports, with over forty Tory rebels signing a declaration from the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch to pronounced that they are opposed to “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs”.

On Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer reportedly said that the opposition party would actually join the movement to oppose the government’s health pass proposals for venues and public events, however, it remains to be seen if the coalition will be great enough to defeat the measure in Parliament.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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