REBELLIOUS MP’s voted against the UK’s new tier system, with businesses now “on their knees.”

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, joined Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock in rebelling against the strengthened tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.

As part of the restrictions, all of Essex has been put into tier two.

Mark Francois MP cited the knock on effects of the strengthened tiers to residents and businesses and an “unconvincing” document on the impact to the economy as the reasons behind is vote.

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

This gave the green light for the strengthened tier system to be implemented as England moved out of lockdown yesterday.

Excluding Mark Francois and Jackie Doyle Price MP’s, all other south Essex MP’s voted in favour of the move.

Mr Francois, said: “The question was not whether or not we wish to combat the virus, we all do, but rather whether the knock-on effects of the proposed restrictions would be so severe, not just economically but also in terms of mental health and delaying treatment for other serious illnesses.

“A number of small businesses in my constituency are now virtually on their knees financially and who are asking, I think quite legitimately, whether the proposed cure is now becoming worse than the disease itself.”

Jackie Doyle-Price MP, spoke in the House of Commons prior to the vote, she added: “There is a lack of consistency in the application of tiering and how areas are allocated into it. These decisions are taken on the back of a fag packet.

“So many businesses have invested thousands of pounds into making them Covid secure. November and December is make or break for so many businesses.

“If people aren’t mixing in restaurants or pubs, they’re going round each others homes. Our homes are far less Covid secure.

“It’s not surprising we’re here, its winter. Protecting the NHS is more than just hospitals and bed capacity, it’s about everybody who works inside it.”

99 per cent of England will enter the toughest tier two and three restrictions, preventing them from mixing indoors with other households.

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

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, warned the plans pose a “significant” health risk.

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 curfew.