Today, Wednesday 4th, MPs debated and voted on new COVID-19 restrictions.
Local MP Dr Andrew Murrison, was an early contributor to the debate in the Commons. He has consistently questioned blanket lockdowns because of the loss of liberty and livelihood, and the indirect loss of lives and wellbeing from other conditions. He has also questioned some of the data and forecasting on which ministers have relied.
Andrew said that the clincher for him was the decision to keep schools and colleges open, which he regards as important epidemiologically, economically, and vitally, in order to limit the damage to young people’s life chances, particularly those of the most disadvantaged.
Speaking in the Chamber, Dr Murrison said that he had agonised over the weekend more intensely than he had over any issue since 2003 when he opposed his party’s support of Tony Blair on the Iraq war. He said:
“I know the Prime Minister… and he shares many of the libertarian instincts that I hold. He has pushed back as much as he can on some of the advice that has been given to him. I find that convincing… that has pushed me over the line in the decision I have made.”
But he continued, listing his anxieties:
“I am concerned about the clarity of data. I am concerned about the logistics chains for the vaccine… I am concerned about lack of plan B… I am concerned about places of collective worship. I am concerned about non-contact sports.”