AN MP has likened the introduction of the coronavirus lockdown measures to George Orwell’s 1984.

New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne told the House of Commons that it was “shocking” the measures had been introduced without being “debated and explored” by Parliament.

His remarks came as MPs debated plans for a “hybrid” Parliament during the coronavirus lockdown, with some MPs attending in person and others via video link.

He said to Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I would point out to the leader of the House that we have never debated those rules. Those rules are implemented under legislation passed – presciently as far as Orwell was concerned – in 1984 and we have never debated and explored them and isn’t that itself shocking?”

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “We had an opportunity to debate the emergency legislation and what we are doing today is ensuring there is opportunity for debate and discussion and for the government to be held to account. I am prviding, for my right honourable friend, what he is asking for before he even asked for it.”

Sir Desmond has previously described the lockdown measures as "deeply distasteful" but temporarily necessary.

He also objected in the Commons to proposals to allow only 50 MPs into the chamber at the same time.

“I think it would be outrageous if members elected to this House were unable to come and bring their concerns to this chamber because there were already a sufficient number of members within it,” he said.