NORTHWICH'S MP has questioned the evidence behind the governments decision to impose a 10pm closure order on pubs and restaurants.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the restriction last Thursday as a way of trying to combat a recent rise in positive coronavirus cases.

Mike Amesbury, speaking exclusively to the Guardian, said the government didn't seem to have based the decision on any real conclusive evidence and hinted at the potential for other issues, including anti-social behaviour problems.

He said: "Speaking as a publican's son and having literally grown up in a pub, it does seem somewhat peculiar.

"If you're in there until 10pm, with the same number of people as normal, and then they all spill out on to the streets at the same time, it will potentially cause problems.

"The liberalisation of licensing laws were brought in some years ago now and in part it was to deal with issues arising from strict closing times, such as anti-social behaviour.

"I'm not sure what the evidence is, and ironically enough, neither is the government.

"When Michael Gove was challenged on Wednesday in regards to this, he referred to the evidence coming from the local lockdown's already in place, particularly those around Greater Manchester.

"But if you look at the R rate and infection rate in those areas, with Bolton being a particularly good example, it's made no difference whatsoever.

"So I'd have to say, the evidence is questionable."

With other restrictions in place, such as the Rule of Six, not seemingly being based on any real evidence, the Weaver Vale politician also highlighted the contrast in having a constituency split by different measures.

"On the Rule of Six for example, the question has been asked in parliament about the evidence and how this number of people was decided upon, but it's also not clear.

"The problem I have is that my constituency is split.

"Part of it sits in the Merseyside City Region of Runcorn, which has local lockdown measures in place and then here in Cheshire, the infection rate isn't as high, although it is growing.

"There's been confusing messages and massive contradictions from government.

"You've had instances such as that involving Dominic Cummings (when he travelled to Durham during lockdown) and Boris Johnson's father, who was island hopping around Greece.

"When it seems like there's one rule for the governing party and another for everyone else, then that doesn't help matters either."