York MP to push for the earliest possible end to lockdown

A social distancing sign at York Station. Photograph: Richard McDougall
6 Jan 2021 @ 10.42 pm
| News

After voting for the latest lockdown, Julian Sturdy has said he will campaign for the restrictions to be eased as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I reluctantly supported the imposition of renewed lockdown measures in the House of Commons this evening, on the basis that the enormous spike in infections driven by the more contagious new variant of the virus leaves us with no alternative,” said Mr Sturdy, the Conservative MP for York Outer.

Convinced by York’s spiralling Covid rates that tough action was necessary too protect the NHS, he said he was heartened by “the fact 1.3 million people have already been vaccinated, more than the rest of Europe combined”.

Julian Sturdy in the Commons

But he added: “I am disappointed that the powers voted through today allow for lockdown restrictions to remain in post theoretically until 31 March, as I believe MPs need guaranteed regular votes on whether to extend.

“I will therefore hold the government to account against the commitments I have received from the Prime Minister and Ministers that they want the country out of lockdown and areas back into tiers that reflect their local virus positions as soon as it is safe to do so, which is predicted to be during February.

“I note tier positions legally have to be reviewed every fortnight, so once the present virus surge is over, areas like York can expect to see restrictions relax as our virus rate falls.

“I will also continue to push for clear government commitments on the point in the vaccine rollout when enough vulnerable people have been immunised to allow for the lifting of restrictions.”