A STRENGTHENED tiered system of coronavirus restrictions has replaced England’s second national lockdown after Boris Johnson suffered the largest Tory rebellion of this Parliament.

Despite the bruising revolt, the Commons backed the Prime Minister’s new measures, meaning 99% of the nation entered the toughest Tier 2 and 3 restrictions on Wednesday.

MPs backed the curbs by 291 votes to 78 – a Government majority of 213 – on Tuesday evening, paving the way for 55 million people to remain unable to mix indoors with those from other households.

But 55 Conservatives rebelled, with 52 voting against the Government, a further two acting as tellers for the noes and one formally abstaining.

However, the measures passed after Labour ordered its MPs to abstain, with party leader Sir Keir Starmer warning the plans pose a “significant” health risk.

The vote means Somerset is now in Tier 2.

Somerset MPs Liam Fox (North Somerset), James Heappey (Wells), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset), John Penrose (Weston-super-Mare), Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane) and Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) voted for the new measures.

Marcus Fysh (Yeovil) and David Warburton (Somerton and Frome) voted against the introduction of the tougher measures.

Before the vote, Mr Warburton - in a lengthy post on his website - outlined seven reasons why he intended to vote against the measures.

They included the potential length of restrictions being 'devastating to lives and businesses'.

"Given the economic, social, health, livelihood, business, mental health costs, the unemployment, insolvencies – each of which is a personal tragedy - I cannot in good conscience vote to compromise lives and destroy livelihoods," he said.

"I recognise the pressures under which the Government is operating, and applaud many of the mitigation measures that have been implemented thus far.

"But I am unable to vote for a system which poses such an economic and social threat to our part of Somerset."

Rebel leader Mark Harper, a Conservative former chief whip, said “we very much regret” that “so many of us felt forced to vote against the measures” during a national crisis, adding “we must find a way to … end this devastating cycle of repeated restrictions”.

READ MORE: Here's what Tier 2 restrictions in Somerset mean to YOU

A Government spokesman welcomed the Commons’ backing, which the House of Lords later approved, but said ministers would “continue to work with MPs who have expressed concerns in recent days”.

The scale of the revolt was a significant increase on the 34 Tories who rebelled against the second lockdown during a vote last month and the 44 who defied the Government on the 10pm hospitality curfew.

A further 16 Conservative MPs did not have a vote recorded for them on Tuesday. While some will be abstentions, others may have had valid reasons for being unable to vote.

Former Cabinet ministers Damian Green, David Davis and Jeremy Wright were among the Tories to vote against the Government, as did Conservative former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

Fifteen Labour MPs also defied party orders and voted against the regulations, including allies of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who also voted against the measures as an independent.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister announced a one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs forced to remain closed under the restrictions in an attempt to reduce the scale of the revolt, though the move was branded “derisory” by the trade.

And he acknowledged concerns of a perceived “injustice” in the allocation of tiers but reassured MPs the Government would consider a more focused approach in the future.

Most pubs in the country will face hampered trade from the measures.

Those in Tier 2, which will cover 57% of England’s population, will only be able to serve alcohol alongside a “substantial meal” and must obey rules restricting household mixing indoors.

In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery services.

The tiers will be reviewed every fortnight and Mr Johnson promised MPs a fresh vote on whether to keep the system before February 2.