Politics

Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester leaders shown Government’s Tier 3 decision on live TV



This is the moment Andy Burnham learned the details of the Government’s Tier 3 restrictions for Greater Manchester during a live press conference.

The mayor had told reporters that £65 million was the “bare minimum” the city region needed to implement stricter coronavirus measures this winter, and accused ministers of “walking away” from negotiations over funding.

At the same time, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was telling local MPs that the region would forced into “very high” restrictions from Friday, with the Government offering £22 million in support.


Mr Burnham was shown an email with details of the measures live on air. Afterwards he said: “It’s brutal, to be honest, isn’t it?

“This is no way to run a country during a national crisis. It isn’t, it’s not right. They shouldn’t be doing this, grinding people down, trying to accept the least that they can get away with.

“Twenty-two million pounds to fight the situation we are in is frankly disgraceful.”

Cries of “disgraceful” rang out from bystanders as Mr Burnham gave details of the Government’s offer.

Mr Burnham said leaders of the authorities in Greater Manchester had originally wanted £90 million – £15 million a month until the end of the financial year – to protect incomes for people forced out of work.

They reduced that sum eventually to £65 million, but ministers would only offer £60 million.

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The Prime Minister only confirmed a £22 million sum as he announced the new restrictions at a Downing Street press conference, money intended to implement and enforce the new rules.

Mr Burnham said £65 million was the “bare minimum to prevent a winter of real hardship” over a “punishing” winter.

(Getty Images)

The Prime Minister was repeatedly pressed on what funding would be available to support businesses in Manchester and whether the £60 million offered to Mr Burnham remained on the table.

“We want to do more,” he said. “But for the sake of fairness, the deal has to be in line with the agreements we have reached with Lancashire and Merseyside, where we have made progress.”

Mr Johnson said his door remains open to Mr Burnham for further talks on the support package.

Downing Street sources stressed that the funding that had been offered was “still available”.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Burnham had complained that ministers were “they playing poker with place and people’s lives through a pandemic”.

Greater Manchester MPs reacted with fury to the £22 million commitment.

Labour’s Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell said it was “utter spite” and “the idea of ‘all in this together’ has been totally shattered this week”.

Wigan MP and shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said: “This is bad faith, it’s immoral – just disgraceful.”

With reporting by PA



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