Coronavirus UK news – MPs vote 516 to 38 on second lockdown as Covid deaths hit their highest since May – latest updates

MPs voted for a second lockdown by 516 votes to 38 as Covid deaths more than doubled in a fortnight.

Lockdown measures from tomorrow will include forcing non-essential retail shops, gyms and hospitality venues to close. Schools and universities will stay open.

At least 20 Tory MPs were prepared to vote against the measures but the Prime Minister could rely on votes from the opposition.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pledged support for the restrictions, having urged Boris Johnson to put the country on a circuit-breaker lockdown for weeks.

Coronavirus deaths have risen by 492 in the largest daily increase since May, but Boris Johnson has shown optimism in UK testing sites.

The PM said that he "sees light ahead" in the fight against the pandemic as 3,000 armed forces and scientists have stepped in to help mass testing.

Ben Wallace revealed top Ministry of Defence biomedical scientists will oversee troops from the 8 Engineer Brigade, the Royal Anglian Regiment and the King’s Royal Hussars as part of the first trial in testing a whole city.

And he hinted the Liverpool deployment was the first of many, saying: "As the latest testing technologies and developments in combating the virus come into play, Defence stands ready to support local communities, and the nation, to benefit from them as soon as possible."

Despite fatalities rising by 397, cases have continued to level off as 20,018 more people tested positive for the bug today – as the country faces a second lockdown from tomorrow.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

 

  • Ed Southgate

    FORMER PM THERESA MAY ABSTAINED IN LOCKDOWN VOTE

    She had launched an attack on the Government for using out of date data to justify the tough new measures.

  • Ed Southgate

    34 TORY MPS VOTE AGAINST LOCKDOWN

    It is more than the 20 MPs expected to reject the measures earlier today.

    They include former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former cabinet ministers Esther McVey and Tim Loughton, Peter Bone and Steve Baker.

    They were supported by four DUP MPs.

    Lockdown will be imposed from midnight tonight after the bill passed by 516 votes to 38.

  • Ed Southgate

    FARAGE: LOCKDOWN OPPOSITION NEEDED

    Nigel Farage said an opposition to lockdown is needed.

    It comes as MPs voted by 516 to 38 to impose new lockdown restrictions from midnight.

    Brexit Party leader Mr Farage tweeted: “An opposition voice to lockdown is needed.”

    He is set to relaunch his Brexit Party as the Reform Party, dedicated to fighting lockdown.

  • Ed Southgate

    PM SEES TORY REVOLT FIRST HAND

    Boris Johnson saw the boiling Tory revolt in the Commons today ahead of the lockdown vote.

    Former PM Theresa May led a furious charge arguing the data and graphs used to impose the lockdown were out of date.

    Some projections used could even be up to four times wrong.

    The lockdown passed by 516 votes to 38 as Keir Starmer rallied his Labour troops to back the Government.

    Read more here.

  • Ed Southgate

    DEATHS MORE THAN DOUBLE IN A FORTNIGHT

    UK coronavirus deaths have more than doubled in a fortnight, rising by 492 today in the largest daily increase since May.

    Another 25,177 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, the second highest daily increase ever.

    Today's rise in deaths is the highest Britain has seen since May 19, when 500 fatalities were recorded.

    It is considerably bigger than last Wednesday's rise, when 310 fatalities were recorded.

    It is also more than double the rise recorded two weeks ago (191).

    It brings the total number of coronavirus fatalities in the UK to 47,742, while the nation's positive test results stand at 1,099,059.

    Read more here.

  • Ed Southgate

    LOCKDOWN PASSES BY 516 VOTES TO 38

  • Ed Southgate

    MINISTERS TALKING TO FAITH LEADERS AHEAD OF LOCKDOWN

    Ministers are talking to faith leaders ahead of the new lockdown, the Health Secretary said.

    They are trying to find a solution to let people of faith congregate, worship and celebrate their religion freely.

    The new measures will only allow individual prayer in a socially-distanced space.

    But MPs from all sides of the House of Commons took issue with constituents not being able to freely express their religion.

    Mr Hancock said: “I can tell the house that ministers are talking to faith leaders to do everything we can to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”

  • Ed Southgate

    'EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES FOR EXTRAORDINARY TIMES'

    The Health Secretary branded the second lockdown as “extraordinary measures for extraordinary times”.

    He said in a debate before the vote: “The measures that we just debated are extraordinary measures in response to an extraordinary effect on our nation's health and prospserity.”

    He insisted the measures “do not come easily” because Britain's hard-fought liberties “should not be infringed on save the gravest times”.

    Mr Hancock told the House that the NHS “would not be able to cope” if the second lockdown was not imposed.

  • Ed Southgate

    MPS ARE VOTING NOW

    The lobby has been cleared as MPs vote for the new lockdown.

  • Ed Southgate

    WHAT WILL THE NEW LOCKDOWN MEASURES BE?

    A second lockdown will come into force tomorrow from midnight.

    All non-essential retail shops, hospitality and gym venues will be forced to shut.

    Essential shops can still sell non-essential goods.

    People will only be allowed to meet one other person at a time from another household – and it must be outdoors.

    Read more on the rules here.

  • Ed Southgate

    'THERE MUST BE NO MORE INNOVATIVE EYE TEST PROCEDURES'

    Tory rebel Steve Baker swiped at Dominic Cummings' lockdown breaches when he warned the Government: “There must be no more innovative eye test procedures.”

    He told parliament that he will vote against the measures because of the varying data sets, some of which he cited suggest the countries R rate is close to 1.

    He said: “The Government strategy by the best strategists relies on a bet that science will deliver.I'm delighted that people are optimistic about it but I'm being asked now to impose the most enormous costs on my country on a bet about science delivering in an environment where there is contested data sets.”

    Admitting the lockdown measures will pass, he insisted: “There must be compliance and a good example set. There must be no more innovative eye test procedures.”

  • Ed Southgate

    MP WILL SUPPORT GOVERNMENT LOCKDOWN“WITH RELUCTANCE”

    Tory MP Stephen Hammond said he will support the Government's lockdown but with reluctance.

    The Wimbledon MP spoke in today's debate ahead of a vote on the new coronavirus restrictions, due to come into force tomorrow.

    He told parliament: “No responsible government could sit and not listen to the overwhelming rate of scientific evidence.”

    But he slammed the contradictions in the measures, which allow people “to go for a run when someone can cough and splutter” but they cannot play a round of golf.

    He added: “I regret that we are putting privations and restrictions on huge numbers of people who worship and wish to express their faith.”

  • Ed Southgate

    LESS THAN AN HOUR UNTIL MPS VOTE ON LOCKDOWN 2

    MPs will vote on a second lockdown in less than an hour.

    They have been debating the new restrictions, set to come into force at midnight tonight, since straight after PMQs this afternoon.

    They will vote at around 4pm.

    It is expected to pass through the Commons with the support of Labour MPs.

    At least 20 Tory MPs are expected to rebel and vote against the measures, citing duff data used to justify the tough new measures.

  • Ed Southgate

    SACK THE LOCKDOWN LEAKER, FORMER TORY LEADER SAYS

    A former Tory leader insisted whoever leaked the Government's lockdown plan to the press should be sacked and “strung up to dry”.

    Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the leak was appalling and the person responsible should apologise.

    He said: “I thought the leak is appalling, that … whoever did it should be sacked, strung up to dry, come here to apologise, grovelled out the door on hands and knees and beaten on the way out, frankly.

    “Because, to be honest with you, this is appalling, what they have done.

    “It is appalling because what they did was bounce the Government, and they bounced the Government because I'd like to think that the Government would have then spent its time investigating the data that was being presented to them that has now subsequently unravelled in the last few days.”

    Sir Iain told MPs he would not vote for the Government's proposals as he believes the tier system is working.

  • Ed Southgate

    NATIONAL STRATEGY NEEDED TO MANAGE HOSPITALS, PHYSICIANS WARN

    A national strategy to manage hospitals during the second wave of Covid-19 is needed to ensure the NHS stays afloat through the “impending winter storm”, leading physicians have said.

    They warned that, unless Covid-19 is managed effectively in the country's hospitals, “we cannot safely provide essential and elective care”.

    The strategy must agree how to balance the competing pressures of treating patients with Covid-19 and those without who need urgent care, and elective work, the heads of three medical and surgical colleges in Scotland said.

    They also said that health boards must be given the flexibility to plan the right balance for themselves as the needs of different parts of the country can vary greatly over time.

  • Ed Southgate

    M&S SUFFERS FIRST LOSS IN 94 YEAR HISTORY

    Marks & Spencer has fallen to a loss for the first time in its 94 years as a public company after its stores were forced to close during pandemic.
    The high street giant fell to a £87.6 million pre-tax loss for the 26 weeks to September 26, swinging from a £158.8 million profit from the same period last year.
    The retailer told shareholders it performed “better than expected” during the first half, with revenue falling less than initially predicted.
    It said revenue for the period slid by 15.8% to £4.09 billion after it was impacted by lower clothing and home sales.

    Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S, said: “In a year when it has become impossible to forecast with any degree of accuracy, our performance has been much more robust than at first seemed possible.

    “This reflects the resilience of our business and the incredible efforts of my M&S colleagues who have been quite simply outstanding.

    “But out of adversity comes opportunity and, through our Never The Same Again programme, we have brought forward three years change in one to become a leaner, faster and more digital business.

    “From launching M&S Food online with Ocado to establishing an integrated online business division 'MS2' to step-change growth, we are taking the right actions to come through the crisis stronger and set up to win in the new world.”

  • Ed Southgate

    'OUR NHS IS OPEN'

    Matt Hancock insisted the NHS is open in a bid to encourage Brits to get checked out if something feels wrong.

    The Health Secretary shared a video on Twitter which said: “If you have an appointment or something doesn't feel right, we're here to help you, safely.”

    It comes amid concerns new lockdown measures will dissuade people from getting checked out for fear of overwhelming the health service.

  • Ed Southgate

    20 TORY MPS NOW TO DEFY WHIP ON LOCKDOWN VOTE

    At least 20 Tory MPs could now defy the whip for tonight's lockdown vote.

    It is a rise of five MPs from the estimated number this morning.

    Rebel and former chief whip Mark Harper said: “We have acted too soon because we are starting to see the tier system working.”

    Other Tory MPs rebelling include Steve Baker and Peter Bone.

    But Boris Johnson is confident it will pass through the Commons with the support of Labour MPs.

    Keir Starmer today attacked the PM for a delay in implementing a lockdown. The Labour leader had called for a two-three week circuit breaker to align with the school half term break.

  • Ed Southgate

    PUB BRAND HOPEFUL TO EMERGE STRONGER FROM CORONAVIRUS

    Brewer and pub owner Shepherd Neame has said it is focusing on emerging from the coronavirus crisis “in a position of strength” ahead of the closure of sites on Thursday.

    It came as the Kent-based group said it has “outperformed” the market over the past 18 weeks.

    Like-for-like sales across its managed estates were 13.4% lower over the period to October 31, while its tenanted pub income was around 75% of that for the same period last year.

    However, the company warned that the second national lockdown in England will be “extremely disruptive” and will adversely affect its 319 pubs.

  • Ed Southgate

    POLICE TOLD TO TOUGHEN UP ENFORCEMENT

    Police have been told to toughen up on coronavirus restrictions.

    Senior police figures were told by Home Secretary Priti Patel that “we now need you to strengthen enforcement”.

    Addressing a National Policing Board meeting, which takes place around four times a year to scrutinise the progress of the 20,000 police recruitment campaign and other policing matters, she said: “As our nation battles to suppress coronavirus I am acutely aware that we are asking more from our outstanding officers, and that they have been working flat out to keep people safe.

    “But the Prime Minister has been clear that he wants to see tougher enforcement of the necessary restrictions in order to save lives.

    “We have played our part – strengthening and simplifying the rules to make it easier for officers to act and providing an extra £60 million for enforcement, with £30 million going direct to the police.

    “We have empowered and resourced you to do more, and we now need you to strengthen enforcement, and that the law-abiding majority are not endangered by those who flout the rules. I want to thank all of you for the contributions you have made in working through the new restrictions.”

  • Ed Southgate

    STARMER WARNS AGAINST 'MADNESS' OF LIFTING LOCKDOWN IF R IS STILL ABOVE 1

    Keir Starmer warned against lifting lockdown if the R is still above 1.

    The Labour leader pleaded for honesty as he dug into the Prime Minister for a delay in implementing a circuit breaker.

    He said in PMQs: “It is madness to come out of a system when we know the one thing a tiered system cant cope with is an R rate over one.

    “The one thing we know a circuit breaker or lockdown can do is buy time. The Prime Minister needs to use that time to fix test and trace.”

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly insisted the rules will end on December 2 at any cost.

  • Ed Southgate

    SMOKEHOUSE RESTAURANT HIT WITH £1,000 FINE FOR NOT MAKING CUSTOMERS SIT DOWN

    Cops slapped a smokehouse restaurant with a £1,000 coronavirus fine for not making customers sit down.

    Police and North Norfolk District Council officers swooped on Lily-Mai's on New Street in Cromer on Saturday.

    They dished out the fixed penalty after claiming the bar and grill, which opened in the summer, wasn't taking steps to ensure that customers remained seated while having food or drink.

  • Ed Southgate

    22 HOSPITALS WORTH OF COVID PATIENTS IN ENGLAND

    There are “22 hospitals' worth” of coronavirus patients in hospitals in England, the head of the NHS has said.

    Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS in England, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme there had been a “very substantial” increase in Covid-19 admissions in October.

    “We began early September with under 500 coronavirus patients in hospitals,” he said.

    “By the beginning of October that had become 2,000. As of today that is just under 11,000.

    “So, put another way, we've got 22 hospitals' worth of coronavirus patients across England.

    “And indeed, even since Saturday, when the Prime Minister gave his press conference, we filled another two hospitals full of severely ill coronavirus patients.”

  • Ed Southgate

    BORIS TO BUSINESS: 'I'M SORRY'

    Boris Johnson apologised to businesses for the nightmare coronavirus situation.

    The Prime Minister said he admires the determination companies have shown as they prepare for another national lockdown ahead of the Christmas period.

    He told the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in a pre-recorded speech: “I want to apologise to all of you who are experiencing the frustrations and the nightmare of the Covid world.

    “I know how tough it has been for you and I'm full of admiration for the determination you've shown in persevering through this crisis.

    “I want to thank you for the heroic efforts you've made to look after your employees, to make your premises Covid-secure, putting in Perspex screens, all the trouble you've gone to in complying with the kinds of diktats that I never believed we would have to impose which, I assure you, go completely against every free market instinct I possess.

    “And, believe me, we will end these autumn measures on December 2 when they expire.”

  • Ed Southgate

    50% EFFECTIVE VACCINE COULD 'HALVE NUMBER OF DEATHS'

    An Oxford vaccine professor said a 50 per cent effective vaccine could halve the number of deaths or hospitalisations.

    Prof Pollard said it would have “a dramatic change from where we are today”.

    But he added that testing vaccines for a 50% efficacy is harder and may take longer to demonstrate.

    Prof Pollard said: “I think we are all hoping that vaccines will be more effective than that, which means that we will have an answer sooner.”

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