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Boris Johnson Prepares To Face Growing Fractious MPs Over National Lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today defend his action to place England in a national lockdown.

Mr Johnson is also expected to contradict his cabinet member that the lockdown will end on 2 December.

Michael Gove had earlier told Sky News that the lockdown could be extended beyond the date Mr Johnson had assured the nation it would end.

There are growing grumbles from Senior Conservative backbenchers who have opposed another lockdown which is expected to take effect on Thursday, 4 November.

Today, Mr Johnson is expected to convince and argue that there is “no alternative” to a second national lockdown in England, and also defend his decision to allow a regional tier system in October against advice.

The PM is expected to say “At the end of four weeks, on Wednesday 2 December, we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.”

Defending why England must go into lockdown now, Mr Johnson will say “Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave.”

“Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level.”

Rather than introducing a national “circuit breaker” as suggested his scientists, Mr Johnson is expected to argue that “I believe it was right to try every possible option to get this virus under control at a local level with strong local action and strong local leadership while admitting that “I know some in the House believe we should have reached this decision earlier”

Speaking with Sky News, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had disagreed with Mr Johnson, arguing that the PM delay had proved “costly”.

Sir Starmer argued that the party had called for circuit breaker three weeks ago and Mr Johnson’s delay has been costly, however, assured that the national lockdown is necessary and his party would support it.

The assurance of the opposition party is a boost for the PM which means, there is a little chance that the government will reject the proposal when members are asked to vote on Wednesday.

Some of the influential backbenchers, leader Iain Duncan Smith, Sky News report, described the lockdown as a “body blow for the British people.”

David Davis, a former cabinet minister told Sky News that “What I want is an amendable motion, keeping parliament informed, giving us a say so on 2 December as to whether we continue with this. Really what I want to do is create a very strong parliamentary pressure on the government to deliver the exit. At the moment it has not delivered the exit and it has got to deliver the exit.”

Speaking with BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, the Chairman of the conservative backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady said he might vote against the lockdown, but hope the MPs will be given a chance to vote on the duration of the lockdown.

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