With numerous MPs coming out of the woodwork yesterday to announce planned boycotts of conference over a potential vaccine passport policy, Guido can understand why Tory chair Amanda Milling tried to assuage nerves in the MP group chat yesterday, saying “No decisions have been made”. It seems George Eustice didn’t get the memo…
“as I say it could be that business conference, including possibly party conferences where you have large numbers of people indoors there could be a case for it there, we haven’t ruled that out.”
Guido can reveal further Tory MPs’ displeasure at the news. A couple of members have said while they had no plans to attend conference this year, they’re not happy with the news:
Craig Tracey: “I wasn’t planning to be at Conference this year anyway, so not something I’ve considered. I don’t agree with the concept of vaccine passports though”
Anne Marie Morris: “is opposed to the use of domestic vaccine passports but hasn’t attended conference for a number of years as she feels it’s a waste of time, that could be far better used being in the constituency… On that basis, you could say she’s been ‘boycotting’ conference long before the issue of vaccine passports came up.”
Greg Smith MP noted Milling’s wobble, though he said he remains wholly opposed to vaccine passports.
“I am booked to go and am double jabbed, but am very sympathetic to the point that the Conservative Party should not discriminate against people because of their health choices/records. Hopefully the Party does not go down this route!”
Sir Desmond Swayne says he will go to a vaccine passport-ed conference given he’s already paid, though issued the warning that he will be there in a capacity to “stiffen the Resistance”. It’s a good point from Sir Desmond – if every anti-vaccine passport MP and member boycotts, there’ll be no one there to push the arguments…