Second lockdown ‘would be catastrophic’, Tobias Ellwood tells LBC

20 September 2020, 13:13 | Updated: 20 September 2020, 13:58

Tobias Ellwood spoke to Tom Swarbrick on LBC
Tobias Ellwood spoke to Tom Swarbrick on LBC. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood MP told Swarbrick on Sunday that a second national lockdown “would be catastrophic for Britain”.

Mr Ellwood told Tom the situation was not the same as March: “We are in a different place, all of us are treating this with much more discipline. We’re wearing our masks, we’re doing our social distancing much better and this is now hitting a different age profile.”

He added: “We need to be better at learning how to live with this pandemic, but making sure our economy can continue to go.

“A lockdown, a national lockdown, would be catastrophic for Britain.”

The Defence Select Committee Chair said Whitehall was overwhelmed by the number of issues it was dealing with and “operational delivery needs to perhaps be passed to a different group of people, rather than policy people, who have no experience in running crises”.

He called for greater involvement for the military in the UK’s Covid response, describing them as “the best strategic planners we have in the country”, but suggested there was a “stigma attached to them being in the room”.

Read more: Calls to bring in the army to sort out 'testing chaos'

Tobias Ellwood on military involvement in pandemic response

Mr Ellwood’s intervention comes as businesses warn of wipeout if a national lockdown returns.

Pub chains and devolved leaders are demanding action and warning they face the perfect storm of fresh national curbs combined with the winding down of the furlough scheme at the end of October.

It comes after Boris Johnson warned the UK is “now seeing a second wave” of Covid-19, adding it was “inevitable” that it would arrive. Some 13.5 million Britons are already in local lockdown.

Read more: Tory MP: Many businesses will 'never reopen' if second national lockdown

The Prime Minister said he wanted to avoid another national shutdown, but it is understood he is considering national restrictions on a par with the North East - where pubs and restaurants must now abide by a 10pm to 5am curfew - or a more extensive “circuit break” lockdown with only essential travel to schools and workplaces allowed.

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lord Edward Garnier has called for a public inquiry into Andrew Malkinson's case

Top lawyer blasts Andrew Malkinson rape case as the 'worst miscarriage of justice of the 21st century'

Suella Barge

Suella Braverman can't be blamed for housing migrants on barge with Legionella, ConservativeHome editor says

Tom Swarbrick on mortgages

It would be 'manifestly unfair' to use taxpayers' money to subsidise mortgages, Tom Swarbrick says

Tom Swarbrick

'It's a case of Ulez you lose', Tom Swarbrick tells Tory chairman as Conservatives retain Uxbridge seat

Tom on JSO

'Am I complicit in a Holocaust?' asks Tom Swarbrick, as Just Stop Oil compares oil and gas giants to Nazis