Matt Hancock choked back tears in the House of Commons this evening as he revealed his step-grandfather died of coronavirus last month.
The Health Secretary issued an emotional plea to the nation to stick to Boris Johnson's new Covid-19 tier system which is due to be rolled out across England tomorrow.
Mr Hancock said when the disease 'gets out of control it grows exponentially, hospitals come under pressure and people die'.
He said 'this isn't just speculation' because thousands of families have been affected by the virus and that included his own as he paid tribute to his step-grandfather Derek who passed away on November 18.
Mr Hancock told MPs that by working in a 'spirit of common humanity' the country can 'beat this', adding: 'We have got to beat it together.'
Matt Hancock choked back tears in the House of Commons this evening as he revealed his step-grandfather had recently died of coronavirus
MPs voted this evening on rolling out Mr Johnson's new tier system amid significant Tory disquiet over the draconian curbs.
Mr Hancock was tasked with finishing the debate for the Government and he made a personal plea for people to follow the new rules as he referenced an outbreak in Liverpool which has now been brought under control.
He said: 'We know through repeat experience what happens if this virus gets out of control.
'If it gets out of control it grows exponentially, hospitals come under pressure and people die.
'This isn't just speculation, it is a fact that has affected thousands of families, including my own.
'We talk a lot of the outbreak in Liverpool and how that great city has had a terrible outbreak and got it under control.
'This means more to me than I can say because last month my step-grandfather Derek caught Covid there and on November 18 he died.
'In my family, as in so many others, we have lost a loving husband, a father, a grandfather to this awful disease.
'So from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to everyone in Liverpool for getting this awful virus under control.
'It is down by four fifths in Liverpool. That is what we can do if we work together in a spirit of common humanity.
'We have got to beat this. We have got to beat it together.'
MPs voted to approve Mr Johnson's new tier system by 291 votes to 78, a majority of 213.