SHIPLEY MP Philip Davies has hit out over news that the Government is planning to delay the final lifting of lockdown restrictions. 

The Prime Minister is expected to announce the ending of social-distancing rules – which had been slated for June 21 – will be delayed for four weeks to July 19, with the BBC reporting early on Monday the decision had been signed off by senior ministers.

The move follows warnings from scientists that the rapid spread of the Delta variant first identified in India risks a “substantial” third wave if it is allowed to spread unchecked.

Mr Davies, whose constituency includes Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston, said this morning: “I am frustrated beyond belief that the Government is planning to extend the lockdown restrictions which are an unjustified assault on our freedoms and are doing untold damage to many businesses and people’s livelihoods.

“The Government should trust in its vaccination programme which has massively reduced the number of deaths and hospitalisations.

"What is the point in having the best vaccine programme in the world if we are still going to be forced into keeping to these restrictions even when deaths and hospitalisations are lower than anyone expected them to be?"

He said the Government appear to have been "taken hostage" by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) and Public Health England, pointing to comments made by Professor Susan Michie, who suggested some behaviour changes should continue in the long-term.

Mr Davies added: “There is no justification in any restrictions still being in place – anyone susceptible to serious illness and death from covid have been fully vaccinated – and we must have our freedoms returned to us. 

"I have found it chilling how easily people have been frightened into giving up their freedoms and this descent into resembling Communist China cannot be allowed to continue.

“I am incredibly angry about this and will continue to do all I can to see common sense prevail and have our freedoms returned to us. It is about time the Prime Minister trusted in his Conservative instincts and let us get back to normal.”