MPs will get the chance to vote on any future national coronavirus lockdowns as part of a bid to stave off a Tory rebellion, Matt Hancock announced this afternoon.
The Health Secretary stressed that the emergency powers used to fight the virus have been "critical" - but conceded to unhappy MPs that they would get a say over new measures "wherever possible".
It comes after the Speaker of the House of Commons refused to give Tory MPs a vote on new coronavirus laws but gave the PM a slap down for not giving MPs a say on emergency measures.
As many as 100 Tory MPs were said to be ready to revolt against the further coronavirus laws tonight after demanding they be given a say on incoming rules.
Many new laws have been brought in overnight with no debate or scrutiny from MPs.
Mr Hancock said this afternoon: "I understand these are extraordinary measures but they remain temporary, time limited and proportionate.
"We need to have the powers at our disposal to act quickly.
Acknowledging the MPs' alarm at further measures, Mr Hancock said more would be done to strike a balance between giving MPs the chance to provide "proper scrutiny" and giving ministers the power to act fast.
He said: "I can confirm to the House that for significant national measures with the effect in the whole of England or UK wide we will consult parliament.
"Wherever possible we will hold votes before such regulations come into force."
The group of rebel MPs, led by 1922 Committee Chair Sir Graham Brady, held 11th hour talks with Jacob Rees-Mogg last night to try and hash out a peace deal.
But following Mr Hancock's statement Sir Graham thanked the Health Secretary for listening to concerns and backed down from open rebellion.
He said: "Members on both sides understand the importance of ministers having the freedom to act quickly when it's necessary, but we are grateful that he, and other members of the Government, have understood the importance of proper scrutiny in (Parliament)."
Fellow rebel Tom Tugenhadt tweeted: "Very welcome statement on bringing consent back to the Covid process.
"@MattHancock has set out consultation and votes will come for UK and English decisions. The same should happen in all parts of our nation."
Sir Lindsay Hoyle said this lunchtime he would not allow the amendment, spearheaded by Sir Graham, to be voted on because it would risk flooding the emergency powers with uncertainty - or make them beholden to the courts.
The Speaker told MPs: "I have concluded on the basis of the advice I have received that any amendment to the motion before the house risks giving rise to uncertainty about the decision the house has taken.
"This then risks decisions which are rightly the responsibility of parliament ultimately being determined by the courts, the lack of clarity risks undermining the rule of law."
Even with the scores of Tory rebels, Mr Johnson's massive majority meant the new laws would've made it over the line if the amendment had been allowed.
MPs to have a vote on any national lockdown, reveals Matt Hancock in move to stave off Tory rebellion
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