'Another lockdown could do more damage than good,' fears Wellingborough MP

Peter Bone admits: 'I will make a decision on which way to vote and probably not know if I'm right or wrong until months later'

Monday, 2nd November 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Monday, 2nd November 2020, 10:36 am
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone

One of Northamptonshire's MPs insists there has been no case made for the 'down side' of a second national lockdown which could destroy lives and businesses.

Peter Bone admits he is undecided over whether to back the Prime Minister in Wednesday's Commons vote on new regulations which will come into force on Thursday and last at least a month.

Boris Johnson is due to make a statement in Parliament today and Mr Bone says there is much talking to be done.

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The Conservative member for Wellingborough said: "I'm very aware we might be doing more damage than good by having a national lockdown.

"I've not seen any impact assessment of the down side.

"We're hearing all the problems with the disease and seeing charts showing how bad the disease is. Where are the charts showing how many people are committing suicide? How many are suffering from really serious depression from this? How many operations are being cancelled? How many businesses are being destroyed?

"If you say to me: you're taking the liberty and freedom of British people away, stopping people seeing loved ones — perhaps in hospital, perhaps dying — you're destroying businesses... that is a very serious decision to take.

Boris Johnson made his shock announcement in a Saturday night press conference

"I've been told of three suicides that have happened that probably wouldn't have had we not been in this situation. We're not seeing that side of it.

"We need to balance this, it's not just about Covid and I think people realise that now.

"I'm not persuaded yet of Government's case but it is very early. We only heard this over the weekend and on Friday we had a completely different approach from the PM — one which I supported."

Saturday's announcement came less than two weeks after the Government introduced a tiered National Covid Alert System. But the number of coronavirus cases have continued to rise across the country.

Mr Bone told the BBC: "I was very supportive of having a tiered system in the country where depending on how bad the disease was, how bad the restrictions would be.

"I've not seen the case why we've moved away from that because clearly some areas do not have such a serious problem at the moment.

"That's a question I would ask the PM, if I get a chance to ask him.

"There's no doubt PM has an extremely difficult decision to make and every MP has an extremely difficult decision to make.

"It's rather like when we have to vote on whether to send our troops into war or not.

"This is not a party political decision. This is the not fun part of being MP. I will make a decision on which way to vote and probably not know if I'm right or wrong until months later.

"I talk to local people, talk to colleagues and then weigh up the best information to make my decision between now and Wednesday.

"But it's really a very difficult decision and I've been worrying about this since the announcement was made.

"I was out at Rushden Lakes at the weekend talking to people and was massively impressed by the way people have been doing the right things. Queuing two metres apart, wearing masks, trying to avoid people. Using common sense is more important than the rules and regulations."