South Swindon’s MP said the government’s second lockdown will “protect the NHS”.

Speaking after Boris Johnson announced England would be placed in lockdown from Thursday, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland also confirmed the courts would remain open over the next month - as they have done throughout the pandemic.

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He told the Adver: “In light of the latest evidence that we considered carefully, the measures we are taking will support continued health treatment and protect our NHS.  By extending the furlough scheme we are acting to support and preserve jobs.”

Asked why Swindon, with lower case rates than much of the rest of England, should follow the worst-affected parts of the country into a second lockdown, Mr Buckland said: “The rising rate of hospital admissions in our region and the rising rate of Covid infections too meant that doing nothing further was not an option.”

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