The Government has “got into the habit of ruling by decree”, the chairman of the 1922 Committee has claimed, amid signs of a new rebellion on the backbenches.
Boris Johnson is expected to introduce new lockdown measures this week, putting him on a collision course with his own backbenchers for the second time in two weeks.
Sir Graham Brady is tabling an amendment which would require the Government to put any new measures to a vote of MPs.
“The British people are not used to being treated like children,” he told the Today programme, stressing that parliamentary scrutiny of the rule of six would have enabled MPs to question why the limit was put at six and not eight or ten and why children were included in England and not in Wales or Scotland.
He questioned whether the lockdown strategy had worked, pointing to the situation in Sweden, where such restrictions were not used.
And he denied that greater scrutiny would prevent ministers from acting swiftly to deal with the pandemic.
“Governments find it entirely possible to put things to Parliament very quickly when they choose to do so,” Sir Graham told Today.
However Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, defended the Government’s approach, telling BBC Breakfast action was taken “by and large with the consent of the British people”.
He added: “We are not living in normal times where you have the luxury of more time to pass rules. There are these powers which enable rules to change pretty quickly… most people understand that the pressing nature of this [pandemic] is why we have to act quickly.”