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A source said: “These measures are time limited and will end on December 2.” Mr Johnson believes the action will allow families to be together at Christmas. He will make a statement in the Commons today updating MPs on the lockdown plans after a torrid weekend following a leak of the plans. The PM had reportedly held a lockdown crisis meeting on Friday with just three other Cabinet ministers – Mr Gove, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock – before the final decision was announced on Saturday evening.
Mr Johnson is now facing a showdown with his own party after furious backbenchers branded the decision “madness” and warned they will vote against the measures on Wednesday.
The PM and other senior ministers will spend the morning talking to MPs about why the plans are vital.
Mr Johnson will then tell the Commons the Government had “no alternative” after being warned by scientists the death toll could be more than twice that of the first wave.
He is expected to say: “Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave.
“Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level.
“I know some in the House believe we should have reached this decision earlier, but I believe it was right to try every possible option to get this virus under control at a local level, with strong local action and strong local leadership.
“At the end of four weeks, on Wednesday, December 2, we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.”
Mr Gove had suggested yesterday the national lockdown could be extended if the disease is continuing to spread too quickly.
He said: “We want to be in a position where we can – and I believe that this is likely to be the case – have an approach where if we bring down the rate of infection sufficiently we can reduce measures nationally and also reduce measures regionally.”
Polling showed the public overwhelmingly back Mr Johnson’s decision.
A YouGov survey of more than 2,200 English adults found 72 percent were in favour of the lockdown.
But the PM faces a rebellion from his own backbenchers when the measures go before MPs for a vote on Wednesday.
Tory former minister Sir Desmond Swayne said the lockdown was “madness” and that he was “in despair” about the move because of the consequences it will have for jobs, businesses and people’s health.
He said: “We will be paying for this for years in terms of reduced investment elsewhere. It is costing an arm and a leg.
“I don’t believe the consequences of avoiding this action are as great as the dangers of embracing it.”
Tory former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the lockdown was a “deadly mistake”.
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful 1922 committee of backbenchers, said he will oppose the Government plans.
He said he fears a “repetitive cycle of lockdowns” that simply defer the spread of the virus.
He added: “The aspect of lockdown restrictions that bothers me most is the extent of the intrusion into what ordinarily we see as fundamental human rights. The freedom of association, the right to a family life.”
Labour will support the restrictions in the vote, which means the Government is on course to secure a comfortable majority, it is believed.
Officials said a further 162 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
There had been a further 23,254 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
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