THIS is what Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has said tonight about the Covid Commons vote:

“I was happy to support this extension into the autumn because it gives the government options if they are needed.

“We have a superb vaccination rollout and a clear road map out of lockdown with progress just days away on 29th March when six people or two households can meet outdoors, I am confident we have turned the corner.

“However, serious issues still remain. We have Europe in the grip of a third wave of the virus and a stumbling vaccination programme. The Prime Minister warned this week this third wave could well come to the UK before we have immunised all adults. We also have fears about new variants coming into the UK that may avoid the jabs we have at our disposal.

“I fully understand and agree with the need for our freedoms to come back to us. No-one wants this Act to be in force for any longer than necessary. 

“The issue here is that the government must have all the tools at its disposal to protect lives, the NHS and to ensure this is the last lockdown. If that means these regulations remain in force and that they can enable the government to act quickly to emerging problems or threats, then that is the best outcome.

“Having the powers and having to use those powers are not the same thing.”