Under cover of the pandemic, his inner circle is sidelining elected MPs and pushing through laws with no scrutiny
The coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a cover for Boris Johnson’s government to seize powers that are without precedent during peacetime. I am becoming more convinced over time that some in his government and advisers saw the virus early on not only as a health crisis, but also an opportunity to push ahead with their plans to diminish parliament’s sovereignty, row back on the rule of law, and hollow out our hard-won rights. Ultimately, the aim is to solidify more power in the hands of the prime minister and a select few of his inner circle.
Their direction of travel was obvious before the pandemic hit – a year ago Johnson tried to shut down parliament – but under cover of Covid-19, it is now bold and blatant. As one of only three countries with an unwritten constitution – New Zealand and Israel being the others – the UK has always been vulnerable to a group of unscrupulous individuals coming into power who would not fear stretching the rules, protocols and parliamentary instruments to their limits, and seek to establish an authoritarian state.