BOTH Herefordshire MPs voted in favour of extending coronavirus laws for a further six months, with one saying he backed the move as the UK is doing "so much better than Europe".

Boris Johnson did suffer a substantial backbench rebellion as 35 Conservative MPs opposed the extension, but Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin backed the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson had ordered his MPs to support an extension to wide-ranging powers contained in the Coronavirus Act, but several ignored this and opted to vote against, including former cabinet ministers David Davis and Esther McVey.

Talking about the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, which has seen almost 100,000 people in Herefordshire given at least one dose so far, North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin the UK's record was much better than Europe's.

Hereford Times: North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin voted to back the extension of coronavirus lawsNorth Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin voted to back the extension of coronavirus laws

He said: "We’re doing so much better than Europe and when you look at the statistics, our record is fantastic.

"That is why I will dig deep into the loyalty vault and today vote with the Government but we need to remember that we need to keep the people properly informed as to why these restrictions are necessary.”


For Labour, 21 Labour MPs rebelled to oppose the extension – including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and one-time leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained some of the powers in the Act need to be renewed every six months, including measures to protect tenants and renters from eviction and to provide statutory sick pay to people throughout a period of self-isolation.

Hereford Times: Health Secretary Matt Hancock during the debate in Parliament. Picture: Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica TaylorHealth Secretary Matt Hancock during the debate in Parliament. Picture: Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Parts of the legislation have been allowed to expire, but concerns were expressed about powers which could impede the right to protest.

The extension of measures in the Act was approved by 484 to 76, majority 408.

The division list showed 305 Conservative MPs and 176 Labour MPs were among those to support it.


A total of 10 Liberal Democrats voted against the extension, with former minister Alistair Carmichael also acting as a teller.

Seven DUP MPs, Alliance MP Stephen Farry (North Down), Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – currently sitting as an independent – also opposed the measures.

Despite the situation in Europe, which has seen the European Union admit it needs to "catch up", the UK Government has absolute confidence in UK vaccine supplies, with all adults on track to receive a first dose by the end of July.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the UK’s vaccine programme will continue to be “world-leading”, despite a row with Europe over vaccine exports.

European Union leaders stopped short on Thursday evening during a European Council meeting of banning exports of vaccines, as a disagreement with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca continues.

While giving a backing in principle for toughened export controls, a statement following the summit stressed the importance of global supply chains in producing jabs.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said AstraZeneca must “catch up” on deliveries to the EU before exporting doses elsewhere, with her views receiving support from Italy, Spain and France.

Addressing a Brussels press conference following the meeting, Ms von der Leyen said she had “no knowledge” of the UK exporting jabs, while 77 million doses had been exported to 33 countries by the EU so far.

Any ban by the EU could also affect vaccines produced for BioNTech/Pfizer at a plant in Belgium.