12:50PM, Tuesday 22 December 2020
MPs for Slough and Windsor have reacted to Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposing the harshest restrictions on the South East, London, and East of England, effectively cancelling Christmas for millions of people.
Christmas plans were scrapped after Mr Johnson announced on Saturday (December 18) Tier 4 measures for those areas after a new coronavirus variant caused a surge in cases.
A 'stay at home' message was introduced, banning households mixing even on Christmas Day, and closing non-essential businesses, hairdressers, leisure, and entertainment venues.
Reacting to this announcement, Slough’s MP Tan Dhesi said he supported the new measures – but acknowledged many families will be 'bitterly disappointed' about having to cut plans at short notice.
He said: “I’m deeply concerned about the rising infection rates we are seeing across the country, particularly in the South East. It was clear that something needed to be done to stop the spread of coronavirus, so I support the measures put in place and urge everyone to follow the local public health advice.
“I appreciate there will be many families who will be bitterly disappointed by the new restrictions and having their Christmas plans cancelled at such short notice, particularly after the Prime Minister dismissed this possibility just a few days ago.
“I believe the British people deserve much more than such incompetent leadership, regular ignoring of scientific advice, only to consistently perform last minute U-turns. The country needs certainty and decisive leadership, yet all we are left with is confusion and mixed messaging. It’s just not good enough.
“Despite all this, I hope everyone is able to enjoy the festivities after the difficult challenges of this year. Please stay at home to protect each other and our NHS. Merry Christmas.”
Although praising the Prime Minister for 'acting swiftly' by imposing Tier 4 restrictions, Windsor’s MP Adam Afriyie said there are many questions needing to be asked about the evidence, timing, and strategy of the mutated virus.
He said: “When confronted with a new more virulent COVID-19 strain by advisors, our Prime Minister is right to act swiftly on our behalf.
“Yet there are so many questions now to be asked about evidence, timing of advice, and overall strategy in this mutated reality.”
He added: “With the unexpected Tier 4 announcement, as your MP, I’ll continue to do all in my power to try to save as many jobs, lives and livelihoods as I can.
“I’m acutely aware of the impact on tourism and hospitality. We must re-evaluate lockdowns overall.”
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