High Peak's Conservative MP voted in favour of mandatory mask-wearing in most indoor settings and compulsory Covid vaccination for NHS and social care staff in England but rebelled on vaccine passports.
A series of votes took place in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening (14 December) on the government’s ‘Plan B’ for dealing with Covid-19 infections this winter, amid rising concern about the Omicron variant.
All of the aforementioned measures were passed thanks to Labour support as Robert Largan was one of 101 Conservative MPs who voted against plans for adults in England to show a Covid pass to enter nightclubs, big sports matches and other large events – rules which have been introduced today (Wednesday).
It was the biggest rebellion from the Tory backbenches since Boris Johnson won the general election in December 2019, and larger than had been predicted.
The scrapping of self-isolation for fully vaccinated Covid contacts, in favour of daily lateral flow tests, passed unanimously without a vote.
The Covid vaccine passport requires proof of two vaccination doses – which Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said will soon change to include a booster jab – or a recent negative test to gain entry to certain venues.
When asked why he voted the way he did, Mr Largan told the Chronicle: “I had some practical concerns around the efficacy of elements of the government’s additional restrictions. That’s why I voted against one of the proposed new restrictions.
“I fully support the government’s vaccine booster programme and look forward to getting my third jab in the next few days.
“I’d urge everyone to get jabbed and for people to take sensible precautions, considering the rising number of Omicron cases.”
High Peak’s Labour Group said they were ‘proud’ of their party’s support for the Covid measures and described the Tory rebellion as ‘a sorry situation’.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Glossopdale councillor Damien Greenhalgh – who is also deputy leader of High Peak Borough Council – commented: “The health, safety and security of our nation and its people is always the priority.
“That’s why we’re proud Labour voted in the national interest in Parliament supporting the measures that protect public health.
“It’s a sorry situation when large numbers of Conservative MPs did not vote to support our health workers and communities, despite yet more examples of them and their colleagues in power not playing by the rules during the lockdown.”