It will all end in tiers, writes Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie

Bizarrely all the news reports have been focussing on the tougher tiers that will come into effect across the midlands just after midnight as if their arrival is a foregone conclusion.

Strictly it is not - because today MPs are asked to vote either For or Against.

The mathematics is in support of the Prime Minister who insists the tiers are the best way to tackle the virus -  or as he puts it - "We cannot afford to take our foot off the throat of the beast." But there are many in his own party who disagree. 

The latest infection figures from Public Health England show that rates are coming down across the Midlands. But the argument goes that until a vaccine is fully available there is every chance that the rates would climb back up if tiers are rejected.   

But is that so ?

That is the question uppermost in the minds of the Tory rebels who will vote against their own government later this evening. MPs like Pauline Latham the Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire.

The government has published a document in an effort to justify the tougher tiers approach.

It concludes that were the restrictions to be eased "the severe loss of life and other health impacts of allowing the NHS to be overwhelmed would be intolerable for our society".

But some midlands Tory MPs question the claims and believe that the fall-out of business closures, and loss of jobs is too high a price to pay. 

As an indication of how the vote will go - In addition to Pauline Latham when the controversial curfew motion came to the Commons it was opposed by Craig Tracey the North Warwickshire MP, Harriet Baldwin West Worcestershire, Peter Bone Wellingborough, Gary Sambrook Birmingham Northfield and Karl McCartney the Lincoln MP. 

The vote will likely pass tonight however because Labour has opted to abstain. Labour say they won't vote against health protection measures but they are protesting against what they see as a lack of sufficient financial support to accompany the Tiers. 

So the outcome later will be a bruised Prime Minister who will be hoping that the promise of a 5 day reprieve over Christmas will soften the hardship to come. 

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