Boris Johnson’s former Brexit chief has joined forces with a group of Tory MPs campaigning against Covid-19 restrictions.
Lord Forst pledged to help the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, who have been pushing for the PM to reject additional safety measures since November 2020.
The former Brexit minister, who negotiated Britain’s accord with the EU, dramatically quit the government in December, warning he had “concerns about the current direction of travel”.
Lord Frost, who was handpicked as an advisor by Mr Johnson from his previous role as a lobbyist for the drinks industry, had said he hoped the PM would “not be tempted” by “coercive measures” to tackle Covid.
He has also said he believes the government should be taking a more radically free-market direction on economic policy, which he claims will capitalise on Brexit.
In screenshots of a WhatsApp group of MPs leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper Lord Frost tells the informal grouping he is “looking forward to helping”.
The group oppose the second Covid lockdown over the winter 2020-21 at the peak of the pandemic and has been instrumental in organising rebellions.
Though rebellions initially failed to gain significant numbers, recent tests of support in the Tory party have shown their approach gaining more traction.
On 14 December 99 Tory MPs rejected plans for vaccines certificates despite surging infections, with the government relying on opposition votes to carry the measure.
Steve Baker, one of the caucus’s ringleaders, welcomed Lord Frost to the group, describing him as a “hero”.
Lord Frost is popular among Tory activists, with an informal straw poll conducted by the ConservativeHome website putting him near the top of the rankings among his colleagues.
Initially negotiating the Brexit withdrawal agreement a special advisor, Lord Frost was appointed a peer for life in the House of Lords by Mr Johnson in August 2020, and given full membership of the Cabinet in March 2021.
Source Link Boris Johnson’s ex-Brexit chief Lord Frost joins Tory anti-Covid regulations group