Boris must accept the tide is turning against lockdown – before it's too late

THE tide is turning.

There is no doubt the 54 Tories who rebelled against the government plunging 99 per cent of the country back into lockdown for another six months from today will be on the right side of history.

Only a minority of MPs actually voted through the new tier levels.

The 16 Conservative backbenchers – including former Prime Minister Theresa May – who abstained provide hope that more MPs will soon join this honourable fight against poverty-creating restrictions.

But my fear is that it could end up being too little too late.

By the time of the next vote on February 2, we will have been in some form of lockdown for nearly 11 months.

Some of the life-changing impacts of that will be irreversible.

Yes, we hope there is a vaccine coming and, on the surface at least, today's speedy approval of the Pfizer jab appears to be a major victory for Boris Johnson.

But this crisis has taught us to be weary of believing the optimistic promises from the government, which included an assurance in July from the PM that this would all be over by Christmas.

Do you have the faith that 67 million of us will have been vaccinated by April? That would mean pulling off a remarkable logistical exercise, the likes of which this country hasn't seen since World War Two.

It's critical the government doesn't prioritise the vaccine rollout ahead of NHS treatments for cancer, heart disease, strokes and hundreds of other equally life-threatening conditions.

It's very rare that I agree with the Leader of (No) Opposition Keir Starmer on anything.

But his criticism of the government "trying to suppress the evidence of what is actually going on in the economy" is well-timed.

As The Times revealed this week, the government is sitting on a "full dossier" of disturbing information about the real costs of lockdown, which weren’t included in the pitiful cost-benefit analysis released on Monday that amounted to a copy and paste job.

But Starmer's position remains fundamentally wrong.

He is calling on the government to "release all the modelling it has done of sectoral impacts and potential job losses" because he wants to pressure Boris to lock down even harder and throw even more money at the problem.

Surely, 13 months in our homes and £394 billion of borrowing is enough?

If it's not, I fear for our future.

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