Labour threatens Johnson with Commons defeat over vaccine passports

Labour threatens Johnson with Commons defeat over vaccine passports
‘We oppose use of Covid vaccination status for everyday access to venues and services’

Boris Johnson’s plans to bring in mandatory Covid vaccine “passports” for crowded venues this autumn have been thrown into disarray after Labour signalled its opposition.

At group of around 40 Tory MPs are believed to be ready to rebel against the plan to make full vaccination a requirement of entry into nightclubs and other large venues from the end of September.

With the Lib Dems already opposed to use of mandatory vaccine passports, Labour’s opposition could spell disaster for the government when a vote comes to the Commons.

Sir Keir Starmer used PMQs on Wednesday to criticise the prime minister’s decision to focus on vaccination alone, rather than allowing people to show they recently received a negative test.

A Labour spokesperson later said: “We need to see the detail of what the government puts forward regarding vaccine passports.”

But they made clear Labour was opposed to the plan to make full vaccination status the be-all and end-all. “We oppose the use of Covid vaccination status for everyday access to venues and services. It’s costly, open to fraud and is impractical.”

The Labour spokesperson added: “Being double jabbed doesn’t prove you aren’t carrying the virus. Testing for access to venues would be more efficient, and would give people and businesses more certainty.”

In a fiery clash with Mr Johnson at PMQs, Sir Keir said: “I remember when [the prime minister] used to say he’d eat an ID card if he ever had to produce one, and now he is introducing one.”

Sir Keir added: “Why is it okay to go to a nightclub for the next six weeks without proof of a vaccine or a test, and then from September it will only be okay to get into a nightclub if you’ve got a vaccine ID card?”

At least 42 Conservative MPs have signed a cross-Big Brother Watch Declaration against Covid status certification to deny individuals “access to general services, businesses or jobs” in the past few months.

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