OXFORDSHIRE MPs are in support of plans to delay the end to lockdown which the Government is announcing today.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce tonight that the final stage of the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England would take place on July 19, not June 21 as originally planned.

The PM was said to be facing a rebellion by Tory backbenchers over the weekend, who plan to vote down the delay when it is presented to them in Parliament.

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But while the Conservative backbenchers from across England are calling on Mr Johnson to commit to an end to call Covid restrictions on June 21, Oxfordshire’s MPs of all parties are urging caution.

Robert Courts, the Conservative MP for Witney, and a transport minister, said he fully supported the ‘scientific approach’ to easing restrictions.

Mr Courts said: ““The Prime Minister has always been clear that our roadmap was cautious but irreversible.

“The dates set out in the roadmap have always been provisional: four weeks after the previous ‘checkpoint’ to assess the impact, which is where we are today. I fully support the Government’s scientific approach of easing restrictions when it is safe to do so, whilst protecting public health, which is what the public expect us to do.

“We can all agree that whatever happens, we do not want to have to go backward, but must push ahead with our world-leading vaccination program which is the key to ending COVID restrictions for good.”

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And Layla Moran, the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said the PM must ‘stick to his pledge to be guided by the data not dates’.

She added: “Time and again during this pandemic, we've seen what happens when ministers bow to political pressure rather than following the science. Past experience shows it is far better to be cautious and keep the virus under control, rather than risk the need for tighter and longer restrictions further down the line.

“Urgent action is also needed to help local authorities contain local surges, including by improving the failing Test, Trace and Isolate system and providing proper financial support for those self-isolating.”

Labour MP for Oxford East, Anneliese Dodds, said: “I know that many Oxford people, businesses and other organisations are desperate to know what is happening with the government’s roadmap for reopening, given the impact plans could have on both our health and the economy.

“Labour warned about the risk of the delta variant months ago, so it’s tragic that a return to normality now seems to be under threat, because the government has failed yet again to act in good time.”

Across the UK, the Delta variant of Covid which was first detected in India is spreading rapidly.

The latest daily Government figures from Sunday showed another rise in infections with a further 7,490 lab-confirmed cases in the UK – up 2,149 from a figure of 5,341 the previous week.

The data also had England with a total of 35,971 positive tests in the past seven days at a rate of 63.9 per 100,000 people.

The final stage of the Government’s roadmap to end lockdown would see all remaining restrictions lifted.

This would mean gig venues and nightclubs could reopen, there would be no upper limit on the size of gatherings, and weddings could take place with unlimited numbers of guests too.

The Government has always described the June 21 date for the end to all restrictions as the earliest possible date this could happen.