MP admits she voted for new lockdown measures with 'heavy heart' amid fears over impact
This article was published in the Portsmouth News: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/mp-admits-she-voted-new-lock…
AN MP admitted she reluctantly backed the new four-week coronavirus lockdown for England that was agreed by ministers on Wednesday after raising fears over the impact it would have on society.
Prime minister Boris Johnson had warned of an ‘existential threat’ to the NHS without action to curb the spread of the disease.
Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will again be forced to close their doors after the Commons voted by 516 to 38 – a government majority of 478 – for the new restrictions.
But Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond revealed she had concerns over supporting the move.
She said: ‘I supported the government’s lockdown measures but I did so with a heavy heart.
‘No one wants this second round of restrictions and I am very concerned about the impact on jobs and businesses, even with the generous government support that remains in place.
‘However, the NHS is now on its highest alert and we have had the highest number of covid deaths today since May. This tipped the balance for me in favour of this course of action.
‘It was right the prime minister tried to find a regional solution but we cannot risk the NHS being overwhelmed and so there no alternative, if lives are to be saved. This is something that has the support of the vast majority of Meon Valley residents and of parliament.’
Ms Drummond said she would push for a regional solution to the pandemic after lockdown.
‘It is heart-breaking to now see businesses across the Meon Valley facing another four weeks closed so close to Christmas,’ she said.
‘To help this situation I will be pushing for a return to the regional model for low infection areas like the Meon Valley when this stricter lockdown ends because we cannot continue to move in and out of lockdown.
‘I believe all effort needs to go into test and trace to ensure we can respond to infections efficiently and locally ahead of any vaccine arriving.’
She added: ‘I know this will be a difficult winter for everyone and I am worried about mental health and loneliness over the next few weeks and about those who are worried about their jobs.’