A BOURNEMOUTH MP will meet Boris Johnson today to urge him to scrap the 10pm curfew which critics say could be a “catastrophe” for the town’s businesses.

Tobias Ellwood wants the prime minister to consider a trial in the town to test out a scientifically-backed alternative to the restriction.

His intervention comes after five MPs locally defied their party by voting against the government’s three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions.

The chairman of Bournemouth Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) has written to Bournemouth East MP Mr Ellwood and Bournemouth West’s Conor Burns, warning of “impending catastrophe” for hospitality businesses if the early closing time stands.

Cancel the Curfew campaign: 'Job losses across BCP area' warning

“Given the additional number of restrictions including table service and the rule of six, it is not alarmist to foresee a significant number of closures and job losses not only in Bournemouth but across the conurbation,” Martin Davies wrote.

Mr Ellwood voted for the government’s coronavirus restrictions, saying it would have been “irresponsible” to block the three-tier system.

But he said the Conservatives’ chief whip had arranged a meeting with Boris Johnson.

“I’m going to see the prime minister and I will make the case on behalf of Bournemouth hospitality to say that this must be reviewed but it needs to be placed in the context of this wider wave,” he said.

He said the scientific advisory group Sage should look at alternatives to the curfew.

“I’d like to see Bournemouth have a trial in place where potentially on Friday and Saturday nights, the 10pm curfew is removed. You then monitor the situation in Bournemouth with a view to using the evidence to justify a national change,” he added.

The 44 Tories who voted against the government’s latest measures included New Forest West’s Sir Desmond Swayne, Christchurch’s Sir Christopher Chope, Poole’s Sir Robert Syms, South Dorset’s Richard Drax and West Dorset’s Chris Loder.

During the debate, Sir Christopher said he had been given no evidence for the health secretary’s claim that hundreds of thousands of death would follow “if the government just let the virus rip”.

“There has been no answer to that question – no attempt to answer it – nor has there been any justification for the arbitrary introduction of a 10 o’clock curfew,” he said.

He contrasted the government’s approach with Sweden’s measures “to trust the people and make them responsible for their own health and welfare”.

“They have restricted gatherings not to six, but to 50. They allow nursing homes to decide their own visiting policies. They regard the rules about face coverings as simplistic and irrelevant,” he added.

South Dorset’s Mr Drax said: “As a country, we are paying a terrible, terrible price, economically, socially, mentally, financially and in health terms. Millions of our constituents are suffering in unimaginable ways.”

West Dorset’s Mr Loder said: “We are faced this evening with a motion that will in effect close our village pubs at 10 o’clock. That is deeply, deeply damaging to our community. It is putting hundreds and hundreds of jobs at risk.

“I have to ask the minister and his colleagues to consider that this one-size-fits-all approach to the 10 pm curfew really is not right for rural parts of Britain such as mine, where it will be deeply damaging to the economy.”

The government legislation passed by 299 votes to 82.