Sir Edward Leigh MP explains reasons behind voting for tiered restrictions

The MP for Market Rasen, Sir Edward Leigh, was one of 290 MPs who voted in favour of tiered restrictions, which came into force yesterday (Wednesday).
Sir Edward Leigh MPSir Edward Leigh MP
Sir Edward Leigh MP

Sir Edward has previously spoken out about the decision to place the whole of Lincolnshire into Tier 3, and has called for a review of the whole county on December 16.

Sir Edward also shared a letter on Twitter that he had received from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who confirmed that ‘the Government will assess each area individually on its own merits’.

Speaking in the House of Commons ahead of the vote earlier this week, Sir Edward Leigh said: “We don’t want to return to the controls of wartime Britain but there is a deep attack on civil liberties throughout our country and we are here to defend the civil liberties of our people - that is our primary duty.

People in West Lindsey are obviously aggravated and upset that they are now in Tier 3 when other areas of Lincolnshire have a far lower infection rate.

Market Rasen only has six per week so clearly there are injustices - there is no doubt about that and we all accept it.
“I have got that commitment from the Prime Minister that he wants to look at a more granular approach with other Lincolnshire MPs.

“This virus attacks people - particularly the frail and elderly - when they congregate together.

“Those who want to vote against the Government - I am a libertarian to the core and I hate with absolute passion what is happening in our country - but those who want to vote against the Government have to have an alternative plan.

“I put this question to the Leader of the Opposition and he cannot answer it, although I suspect that his alternative plan is a complete and total lockdown which we had in April and every school closed.

“That is the only way in which we are going to defeat this virus entirely.

“We have a compromise - it is not ideal.

“My personal philosophy is human dignity - every time I vote in this place, it is on the issues of right to life.

“Whether it is abortion or euthanasia or the unnecessary wars.

“How can I vote against this measure tonight when there is no alternative plan, when the result of my vote tonight is that frail and vulnerable people will die?

“That would be the effect. Although it is with deep reluctance, although I am a libertarian, and although I recognise that West Lindsey has been put in Tier 3, having been given that commitment by the Prime Minister I will vote - reluctantly - for the Government tonight.”