Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
Shelagh Fogarty presses Tory MP on PM's rejection of 'circuit breaker' lockdown
14 October 2020, 16:32
Shelagh Fogarty has put a Tory MP on the spot by asking him why the Government is "responding differently now" to the coronavirus pandemic.
The exchange with Ben Everitt, the Tory MP for Milton Keynes North, has come after Boris Johnson stuck firm to his three tier coronavirus strategy when questioned at PMQs today despite growing pressure to bring in a national 'circuit breaker' lockdown.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of rejecting the advice of his scientific advisers to introduce a widespread lockdown to curb a rapid rise in Covid infections.
Shelagh asked the Mr Everitt: "We have more people in hospital now than we did in March. That statistic alone should terrify us, shouldn't it?"
"Yes, it absolutely should," the Conservative MP replied.
In response, Shelagh asked: "So why are we responding differently now?"
Mr Everitt responded: "Because we know much more about the virus. We have much better systems in place to deal with the virus on a national and a local scale. The NHS is scaled up.
"We are getting better at dealing with this in a way that we just couldn't have even conceived six months ago. We are learning every day about the virus and how we deal with it."
Earlier on in the exchange, Mr Everitt also defended the Government's three tier coronavirus strategy.
He said: "The tier system is there because we need to ramp up the measures that we take in the areas where the virus is spreading the most.
"And we need to be very clear that we shouldn't punish businesses and schools and parents and families in areas where the virus is under control.
"But we really should take action as quickly and decisively as we can in areas where the virus is getting out of control."
The Milton Keynes North MP also outlined his opposition to a 'circuit breaker' lockdown, arguing that it would have a "terrible long-term effect, no just [on] the economy".