THE Teesside lockdown has been limited to Middlesbrough and Hartlepool after MPs held crunch talks with the Health Secretary.

Two Teesside MPs have thanked Health Secretary Matt Hancock for heeding their concerns after crunch talks about local lockdowns in Teesside.

Today the Health Secretary announced that both Middlesbrough and Hartlepool would be going into local lockdown.

But Conservative MPs Simon Clarke and Jacob Young have thanked Mr Hancock for including several measures which ensure no unnecessary Tees Valley-wide lockdown and for adding a clear exit strategy from the extra restrictions.   

Mr Clarke and Mr Young were among five MPs to undersign a letter urging their local authorities to hold back on requesting further restrictions over and above those already imposed nationally.

However, both Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Council requested a local lockdown.

The new restrictions mean only Middlesbrough and Hartlepool are in lockdown, the MPs have been discussing a clear exit plan from restrictions, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council are not included in the lockdown and an evidence led approach is being taken.

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "Earlier in the week I spoke in the House of Commons to call for a clear exit strategy to be included in any local lockdown in Middlesbrough.

"I would like to personally thank Mr Hancock for ensuring that a clear, evidence-led exit strategy has been included in the measures imposed on Middlesbrough.  

"I was clear in my opposition to any further local restrictions at this time, especially seen as the latest national restrictions had not had even a week to bed in.

"And while I respectfully disagreed with the decision of Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston to request a local lockdown in Middlesbrough, I am in no doubt that he acted in good faith in making this request of the Government.

"So now we are where we are, our focus must shift to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.

"It is vital that we work alongside each other to ensure the best possible outcome for the people of Middlesbrough and ensure restrictions are in place for only as long as absolutely necessary."

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: "Mr Hancock took the time to listen to our concerns and we are very grateful to him for doing so.

"As a result, virtually everything we asked has been included in this local lockdown order. 

"While a Tees Valley-wide lockdown was considered, Mr Hancock agreed that this would be disproportionate for the likes of Redcar and Cleveland while the infection figures there differ widely from those seen in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool."