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UK News

Christian MPs react to lockdown extension

by Heather Preston

Christian MPs respond as the government announces that lockdown measures to slow the spread of coronavirus in the UK will continue for at least another three weeks.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the Prime Minister, announced the decision at Thursday's daily briefing.

The Foreign Secretary says the Government has been lead by the science at every stage and increased capacity for the NHS as the number of deaths from the virus was confirmed to have reached 13,729.

Christian Conservative MP Steve Double told Premier the Government has made the right decision to follow the medical advice.

"I think we are at a critical point now in this whole process, we are starting to fight back against this outbreak and see the curve flatten. In light of that, I think it is important to continue to maintain our lockdown measures to protect our NHS and prevent the spread of this virus so we can see this through.

"We need to continue to take all the neccessry measures to save lives," he added.

Mr Double acknowledged that the extension will have further implications for businesses and the economy but assured people that the Government will continue to review how they can "continue to do everything they can to protect jobs and support the economy" for the sake of the future.

"We want to be a position where once the lockdown is lifted we can see the economy and businesses pick up very quicky. To do this it is important that we continue to provide that support and focus it where it is particularly neccessary."

Stephen Timms, a Christian MP in the Labour party, told Premier it was inevitable that the lockdown will have to continue for some time but that more communication was needed from government ministers.

"Who knows how long it's going to be? I do think it's right that, as Sir Keir Starmer has been saying over the last few days, that we ought to know what the exit plan is and what the conditions are under which the lockdown would be lifted. I think we need to be planning ahead and thinking that through now."

Stephen Timms said it was no use ministers just talking to scientists and not sharing that knowledge. 

"When will the rate of new infections be sufficiently low for authorities to be confident that a lockdown can start to be lifted? I think we need to know what the basis for the conclusion, for the plan, is going to be and then all of us will have a sense of where we're heading," Timms added.

Double says that it's important to focus on the measures still in place to ensure the government is not giving the public "mixed message".

"At the right time, clearly the government will come forward with more details about how we expect to get out of this lockdown. But I don't think now is the time to do that. We need to be very clear about what the message is right now - to continue to stick to the restrictions, continue to stay home and only leave your home for the reasons allowed." Double said.

Timms went on to honour the "fantastic" efforts of local churches in helping support people struggling throughout the crisis adding that he hoped this would be the beginning of stronger relationships between local councils and faith groups.

Double asked that Christians continue to pray for those who are feeling the effects of the measures as well as for widsom for national leaders. 

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