AN MP was left "horrified" when a second lockdown was announced.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West has slammed the weekend announcement by the Prime Minister that England will go into a second lockdown as "shambolic".

The MP stated that the public "should not be kept waiting" over such important decisions and has been inundated by constituents telling him not to vote for the measures.

MPs are set to vote on the proposed nationwide restrictions in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Addressing the house on Monday, Mr Amess said: "Like most other people, I was absolutely horrified when a lockdown was called at the weekend.

"There I was at mass on Sunday, and with no warning at all the priest called me to the altar to present me with a giant poppy that had been made by the children.

"He then asked me to give the congregation a message of hope, and I did my best.

"The country needs hope, and the world needs hope. I would describe the announcement on Saturday as absolutely shambolic.

"We cannot keep the nation waiting for such an important announcement, and, whatever the circumstances, that must never ever happen again.

"I was here when we gave power to the devolved nations, and to see the four parts of the United Kingdom pulling in different directions without one message is shameful and childish.

"That should not happen again. Of course I understand that we are following the advice of the scientists, but it is the politicians who decide. I want much more clarity on the overall objective and strategy.

"As many others have mentioned, care homes seemed to be sacrificed the last time we were in lockdown. Their residents are on very limited time, and we must ensure that full visiting rights are given to their relatives.

"I am very glad that the schools are not now locking down, and I do hope that we will do our best to protect vulnerable children. With hope, our churches most certainly should stay open. The Catholic archbishops have called for the publication of the evidence behind the ban; I urge the government to publish it.

"Many of our local businesses have been suffering during these tough times and want more help. They have already had the summer wiped out, and now they will have Christmas wiped out.

"MPs need a hotline so that we can get answers quickly. For instance, the Palace theatre in Southend is suffering and I want it to have more help.

"Those businesses that operate from home or that visit homes, such as beauty therapists, hairdressers and cleaners, have got everything sorted and will now have to suspend their work again."

Mr Amess also called for more support for keeping sporting activities going, those with learning and physical difficulties, and for the government to provide a comprehensive list of what is essential and non-essential retail, as he said there has been "confusion".

He added: "Not surprisingly, we are being inundated with emails from constituents telling us that we should not vote for another lockdown.

"The British public have been extremely patient and forbearing, and most people have accepted the guidelines until now. There needs to be a coherent strategy for a return to normality—not the new normal, but the normality of pre-lockdown Britain.

"The country, and particularly the economy, cannot exist in a state of suspended animation for much longer without long-term real damage."