One of Coventry’s three Labour Members of Parliament spoken out on Tuesday afternoon prior to a vote on the new stricter tier system in England.
More than a hundred MPs got a chance to speak in a debate prior to the vote on whether to approve the Government’s new tiered approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in England.
The new restrictions, due to be imposed from 2 December if approved in the House of Commons, will see retail able to reopen while restaurants, cafes and pubs must remain closed with the exemption of takeaway orders.
While gyms will be able to reopen, museums, theatres and cinemas must remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The stricter measures have been met with much criticism, especially from politicians and business owners in Coventry.
Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, during a debate on Tuesday voiced the heartfelt concerns of her constituents in the city.
The MP told her colleagues in the House of Commons that she “cannot in good conscience actively support a tier system … that adversely impacts my constituents mental health and cripples my local economy”.
Tier 3 will “exacerbate the economic crisis” at a local level, Owatemi continued.
Referencing the story of a struggling local pub owner in the city, Owatemi explained how the Old Clarence in Earsldon has “always operated in a safe way” and now feels “penalised” based on postcode.
Owatemi went on to accuse the Government, by placing Coventry in Tier 3, of “overlook[ing]” the sacrifices of the people of Coventry during the first and second lockdown.
Owatemi ended her speech by urging the Government to review the tier allocation of Coventry and expressed her optimism that the Prime Minister had made assurances this would be done at a sub-regional level, which could see restrictions in Coventry de-escalated.