Speaking after the vote on the tiered system introduced in England from 2nd December, Watford's MP said:
I had hoped to speak in the Chamber to share my thoughts prior to the vote but unfortunately was not called to speak. As such please accept my apologies for not hearing from me prior to the vote.
With regards to the vote, my consideration lies with what the alternatives are. If we did not vote for a regional approach, then we would either continue in national lockdown or have no restrictions at all. For me, to strike the right balance between protecting lives and livelihoods, we must accept the regional approach in what is hopefully the final phase of this pandemic.
I do not take any pleasure in voting for any restrictions at all. However, on balance, this is the best of a bad situation in which inaction will cost lives and continued nationwide restrictions will cause more economic pain. With the Tier system that is now in place, I will continue to lobby Ministers for Hertfordshire to be placed into Tier 1.
As a member of the Health and Social Care Committee, I have spent countless hours looking at the data and questioning experts. Whilst the virus is thankfully under control and a vaccine has been approved, I do not believe that we are ready to return to normality until the vaccine is ready to be distributed.
I am fully aware that any restrictions create a risk to not only jobs, businesses and livelihoods, but also to people’s mental health, especially in the winter months. In light of this, I will continue to use my voice to lobby Government on behalf of Watford for more support across the board, particularly for the hospitality sector and other businesses in our town.