CLACTON MP Giles Watling has warned he could withdraw his support for the Government's tier system if Covid-19 restrictions for Essex are not eased in the coming weeks.

Mr Watling voted in favour of the Government's new tier restrictions in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing his biggest rebellion by backbench MPs, the new system was approved.

The measures, which has seen Essex remain in tier two following the end of the second national lockdown, came into force on Wednesday.

It means people are not allowed to gather inside other people's homes, only up to six people from two households can meet outdoors or at a pub or restaurant, that most hospitality venues can open and that alcohol can only be served indoors with a meal.

Most leisure and entertainment premises are closed except gyms, cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades.

The tiers will be reviewed in two weeks’ time.

Clacton MP Giles Watling defended his decision to back the measures despite a massive drop in the number of cases in Tendring.

The district had 93 cases in the past seven days - equivalent to 55.9 cases per 100,000 people - down from as high as 106.4 cases per 100,000 towards the end of October.

“I am uneasy at any restrictions given my libertarian leanings," said Mr Watling.

“I voted against the 10pm curfew, supported calls for more scrutiny over the governments Covid powers, and I backed the calls of Essex County Council to leave lockdown and enter the lowest Tier 1 restrictions – I was disappointed to hear that we are about to enter Tier 2.

“However, even with my track record of being something of a rebel, I did vote with the government.

“This was done with a heavy heart – if we don’t drop the R rate now, then we could see yet another lockdown, which will be even more harmful to the economy and people’s mental health.

“Some people have asked me to just back scrapping all restrictions – at this stage I consider that dangerous, with the virus still prevalent in some areas.

“Other than being a jobbing actor, I have been a pub landlord, a small businessman and much more; so I know how extremely damaging these rules are.

“I am simply backing the course which I hope will prevent another national lockdown.

“However, I will keep arguing for the quickest and most comprehensive unlocking as possible.”

“I want Essex to enter lighter Tier 1 restrictions at the review on December 16, unless things worsen.

“If not, the government may well lose my support in the future.

“I have informed the government whips of this position.”

“The rate of infection in Tendring is very much better than many feared.”