A CITY MP says that a second national lockdown should only be used "as a last resort", with another MP adding he 'is unlikely' to support the move.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith, and New Forest East MP Julian Lewis, made the comments after reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson could announce a second national lockdown in the coming days.

Mr Smith told the Echo: "Let’s be clear, the reason we’re talking about this is because people are not following the guidance closely enough.

“If we are all stricter about hands, face and space we can get the rate of increase down while protecting our most vulnerable and the economy.

“There are people who believe a full lockdown would help control the virus and they might be right but be under no illusion - people will die of illnesses other than Covid-19, the economy will collapse and millions will be thrown out of work."

Boris Johnson is set to hold a press conference at 4pm this afternoon after a report by The Times newspaper claimed that the PM would bring in a second national lockdown as Covid-19 deaths continue to rise. The move could see everything closed except essential shops and educational settings.

Mr Smith added: “We can’t lockdown, have furlough, grants and job support schemes without a functioning economy elsewhere.

“Many of those who have suggested full lockdown to me are not those who worked through last time. Spare a thought for our healthcare professionals and those who worked so hard to keep our supermarkets open. Think about the people who drove through the night to keep our shelves stocked and deliver the millions of parcels ordered through Amazon.

“What about schools and universities which we know have helped to increase the spread of the virus when they returned?

“We need to keep our distance, wear our masks and wash our hands and we should not be afraid to ask other people to do likewise. Full lockdown must be the last resort.”

Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East, said: “I am unlikely to support a further national lockdown given the divided opinions amongst experts and the health, welfare and economic costs it would involve for most people."

Other Hampshire MPs have also been approached for comment.