DORSET MP Richard Drax has been granted the right to host a televised debate in the House of Commons looking at alternative ways for the country to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The South Dorset MP is one of a rising number of Conservative MPs opposed to lockdowns, which he claims are ruining livelihoods, wrecking the economy, ripping away vital life experiences for young people, and leaving tens of thousands of patients untreated for other illnesses.

He submitted an application to debate the issue with other MPs in a bid to seek out a ‘Plan B’ response to the situation – and is delighted it has been granted.

He has now confirmed the debate, which will be televised, will take place in Westminster Hall from 2.30pm-4pm on Tuesday, November 3. It is called: ‘The effectiveness of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak’.

Mr Drax is now writing to MPs from all political parties to join the debate.

He said: “Whilst I have deep sympathy with the Prime Minister and Government dealing with this, we must all be allowed to express our views, and mine is that we should be taking a more pragmatic approach and allowing people to follow their own common sense.

“I want to know what is our ‘Plan B’ is. We cannot just keep shutting down the country, destroying the economy, whilst we wait for a vaccine that may never arrive.

“We will all have to live with this virus for the years ahead and we need to be thinking about how exactly we are going to do so.

“We are going to look back on this country and see such devastation that will take many years to put right if we continue on this path. We need to change course.

“While I wouldn’t want anyone to get ill from this virus, it affects a very small minority of people. We need to allow those who are vulnerable to make their own choices and put the resources into keeping them safe, while allowing the other 99% of the population to get on with our lives and keep the country going. So many lives are being destroyed.

New regionalised lockdown regulations were implemented on Monday, with areas of the country put into three tiers of risk – medium, high and very high.

Dorset currently remains in the lowest ‘tier one’, which means residents must continue to abide by the ‘rule of six’ and 10pm curfew.

The tiers are being regularly reviewed across the country as infection rates are monitored.