Matt Hancock fought in the Commons today as he revealed his step-grandfather died after capturing Covid-19.
The health minister told MPs about the death when he concluded a six-hour debate on new levels to replace the national lockdown.
They have been adopted by MPs in a vote tonight and will take effect tomorrow, Wednesday, December 2.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Hancock’s voice broke with emotion as he said, “This means more to me than I can say because last month my step-grandfather received Covid there and on November 18 he died.
“In my family, as in so many others, we have lost a loving husband, a father, a grandfather to this terrible disease.
“So from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone in Liverpool for getting this terrible virus under control.
“It’s down four-fifths in Liverpool, which is what we can do if we work together in a spirit of common humanity. We have to beat this, we have to beat it together. “
He also told MPs that vigorous action must be taken to combat the virus.
Mr. Hancock said: “We can afford to give up a little bit, but we just can’t afford to give up a lot.
Let that be the message that goes out from this Parliament.
“We know from repeated experiences what happens when this virus gets out of hand.
“When things get out of hand, it grows exponentially, hospitals come under pressure and people die.
“This is not just speculation, it is a fact that has affected thousands of families, including mine.
“We talk a lot about the outbreak in Liverpool and how that big city has had a terrible outbreak and got it under control.”
His words came shortly before MPs approved government plans for new restrictions starting Wednesday.
MPs voted 291 for the plans and 78 against.
The new scheme goes into effect Wednesday and will put 99 percent of England in the strictest Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions.
A government spokesman welcomed MPs who voted to approve the new tiered system to replace England’s national lockdown and said the ministers will work with those who have raised concerns.
He said: “We welcome tonight’s vote endorsing our winter plan, ending national restrictions and returning England to a layered system.
“This will help safeguard last month’s gains and keep the virus under control.
“We will continue to work with MPs who have expressed concerns in recent days.”