ALL four MPs representing Wiltshire Times and Gazette& Herald readers voted with the Government to overwhelmingly approve a third national lockdown for England.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham and Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire, all Conservative, backed the government when it won Wednesday’s retrospective vote by 524-16, on the day the death toll hit a second wave high.

But one has already called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to come up with an exit strategy.

Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire, said: “My position has been one of support for the general thrust of government policy in the knowledge that all other European countries are doing pretty much the same sort of thing.

“I am hopeful that the Oxford vaccine will be deployed sufficiently among the vulnerable over the next couple of months to allow a return to relative normality.”

Dr Murrison said he had previously been hesitant in backing blanket lockdown measures because of the toll on lives, livelihoods, and liberties.

He said he had voted for the lockdown with a “heavy heart”, despite them being “clearly necessary” on the basis of evidence currently available and an alarming escalation in the number of cases and deaths.

He added: “The caveat for me as always is that a cycle of lockdowns just cannot go on indefinitely. Unless the Oxford vaccine proves to be a game changer in weeks rather than months or unless the virus takes a more lethal turn I believe we will need Plan B.

“That essentially means protected isolation for the vulnerable and the rest of society getting back to relative normality. The cost otherwise in financial, societal and health terms will be just too great.”

Dr Murrison called for more detail on numbers of vaccines and a better idea as to what constitutes an exit strategy.

He suggested the national lockdown might reasonably be lifted when Covid vaccination numbers had reached a level that reduced likely deaths to a level accepted in a bad year for seasonal flu.

Dr Murrison told MPs he was concerned about what he called the excess deaths caused by lockdown from non-Covid-related conditions, mental health issues and damage to liberty, livelihood and the economy.