A Cornish MP was among 42 Tory Party rebels who voted against the government's 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants last night.

The vote in Westminster was symbolic only, as the rules have been in force for the last two weeks and remain in the new three-tier alert system that comes into operation from today.

But a group of backbench Conservatives had forced a vote on a motion that would have registered their disapproval over the curfew affecting pubs and restaurants.

They lost by 299 votes to 82 however - a majority of 217.

West Cornwall's MP Derek Thomas made a speech in parliament calling for a re-think on the curfew, whilst at the same time promoting the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol.

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Representing his St Ives constituency, which actually covers the whole of west Cornwall including Helston and the Lizard Peninsula, Mr Thomas said: “We have told pubs they need to close at 10 o’clock but we have done absolutely nothing to curtail the sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets.

“Once again, we are seeing the supermarkets doing everything they can to maximise their take on the back of the coronavirus.

“What the government could do right now to reassure pubs...is to curtail cheap alcohol sales in supermarkets, which would not only improve people’s health but give the pubs a chance to recover.

“If the government is not prepared to change the curfew, they must be prepared to give pubs a fair chance.”

Introducing the minimum unit price for alcohol “would reduce the drinking culture...and improve health outcomes, which would improve people’s chances of surviving coronavirus and increase the Treasury’s income," he added.

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Mr Thomas contributed to the Alcohol Harm Commission Inquiry, which released its report this week detailing the scale of harm directly attributed to alcohol.

The report shows that there are 80 alcohol-related deaths every day in the UK while 33 people are diagnosed with an alcohol-related cancer every day.

Sales of alcohol provides £12 billion to the Treasury but cost society up to £52 billion each year.

In Scotland, a minimum unit price of 50p per unit was introduced in 2018, but earlier this year the government said there were “no plans for the introduction of MUP in England” - although it would continue to monitor the progress of MUP in Scotland and consider the evidence of its impact.

The 42 Conservative MPs who rebelled were:

Imran Ahmad Khan (Wakefield)

Sir David Amess (Southend West)

Steve Baker (Wycombe)

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire)

Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Crispin Blunt (Reigate)

Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Sir Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)

Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch)

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

James Daly (Bury North)

Philip Davies (Shipley)

David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)

Dehenna Davison (Bishop Auckland),

Jackie Doyle-Price (Thurrock)

Richard Drax (South Dorset)

Marcus Fysh (Yeovil)

Nusrat Ghani (Wealden)

Chris Green (Bolton West)

Tom Hunt (Ipswich)

Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire)

Chris Loder (West Dorset)

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Anthony Mangnall (Totnes)

Karl McCartney (Lincoln)

Esther McVey (Tatton)

Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle)

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

Sir John Redwood (Wokingham)

Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

Gary Sambrook (Birmingham Northfield)

Bob Seely (Isle of Wight),

Henry Smith (Crawley)

Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West)

Sir Robert Syms (Poole)

Derek Thomas (St Ives)

Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire)

Matt Vickers (Stockton South)

Christian Wakeford (Bury South)

Sir Charles Walker (Broxbourne)

Giles Watling (Clacton)

William Wragg (Hazel Grove)