TWO south Essex MPs have rebelled against the Government’s strengthened tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.

Tonight, Commons backed the measures, despite Boris Johnson suffering the largest Tory rebellion of this Parliament.

Rayleigh and Wickford Tory MP Mark Francois and Jackie Doyle-Price, Tory MP for Thurrock, voted against the move.

Tory minister James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, and Government whip, Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point voted in favour. Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Southend West MP Sir David Amess voted in favour of the Government's measures.

Despite the rebellion, Boris Johnson’s strengthened tiers was backed by the Commons which means 99% of England will enter the toughest Tier 2 and 3 restrictions, preventing them from mixing indoors with other households when the second national lockdown ends on Wednesday.

The House of Commons voted by 291 votes to 78 – a Government majority of 213 – for the new restrictions on Tuesday evening.

Fifty-five Conservatives rebelled over the measures, with 52 voting against the Government, a further two acting as tellers for the noes and one formally abstaining.

But the measures passed with Labour ordering its MPs to abstain after party leader Sir Keir Starmer warned the plans pose a “significant” health risk.

A Government spokesman welcomed the Commons’ backing, which the House of Lords later approved, in order to “help to safeguard the gains made during the past month and keep the virus under control”.

But he said that ministers will “continue to work with MPs who have expressed concerns in recent days”.

Rebel leader Mark Harper, a Conservative former chief whip, urged the Government to listen to the warnings from opponents to Mr Johnson’s restrictions.

The MP, who chairs the Covid Recovery Group of Tory lockdown-sceptics, said: “We very much regret that in a moment of national crisis so many of us felt forced to vote against the measures that the Government was proposing.

“We must find a way to break the transmission of the disease, recapture the public’s support and confidence, end this devastating cycle of repeated restrictions and start living in a sustainable way until an effective and safe vaccine is successfully rolled out across the population.”

The Tory revolt was a significant increase on the 34 who rebelled against the second lockdown during a vote last month and the 44 who defied the Government on the 10pm hospitality curfew.

A further sixteen Conservative MPs had no vote recorded for them on Tuesday. While some will be abstentions, others may have had valid reasons for being unable to vote.