Northern Ireland news

Ian Paisley calls for Covid-19 special powers to be rolled back

Speaking in the Commons yesterday evening Ian Paisley compared Covid-19 rates with other causes of death 

DUP MP Ian Paisley has questioned why the British government needs special powers to deal with Covid-19 but not for other causes of death.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday evening Mr Paisley compared Covid-19 rates with other causes of death, saying: “In the next 24-hour cycle, 500 people across the United Kingdom will die of cancer.

“In the same 24-hour cycle, 480 people across the United Kingdom will die of heart disease.

“No-one in the last 72 hours in Northern Ireland has died of coronavirus.

“There will be 20 people who take their own lives in the next 24 hours in the United Kingdom – suicide.

“And yet we have all of these special measures being put into place to deal with this [Covid-19].

“Special measures which frankly many of them have not been used since March, and it begs the question why does the government need these special powers?

“Surely they should be rolled back.”

Ministers had earlier held crisis talks with Tory MPs in an effort to ward off a revolt over coronavirus laws.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to give parliament the opportunity to debate and vote on future restrictions, with more than 50 Tory MPs signalling they could rebel on the matter.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news