Boris Johnson confirms Greater Manchester will get £60million for Tier 3 lockdown as Keir Starmer accuses him of ‘corrosive’ approach

Boris Johnson has now confirmed that Greater Manchester will get the £60million to support local businesses as Sir Keir Starmer tore into him over his “corrosive” local lockdown approach.

The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that he will plunge the region into the strictest coronavirus measures on Friday morning after talks with local leaders broke down.

It comes after the government failed to reach an agreement with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham over financial support for going into Tier 3 measures.

Mr Johnson was asked five times last night during the Downing Street press conference to confirm whether the cash was being handed out or not.

During Prime Minister’s Questions today, he said: “Yesterday the Mayor of Greater Manchester was offered a further £60 million which he turned down with no encouragement, I may say support from [Sir Keir].

“So I can tell the House today that that cash will be distributed to the boroughs of Greater Manchester.”

Mr Johnson told the Commons the government had already given Manchester £1.1billion in support for business, £200million in extra non ring-fenced funding, £50million to tackle infections in care homes, £20million for test and traces and another £22million for local response announced on Tuesday.

He also praised the six Greater Manchester Tory MPs who wrote to Andy Burnham asking him to accept less cash for their constituents.

However, Sir Keir called on the PM to end his “corrosive” approach which results in “local battles” for cash. The Labour Party is calling for a national criteria to resolve such matters.

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Sir Keir said: “This is a Prime Minister who can pay £7,000 a day for consultants on track and trace, which isn’t working, can find £43 million for a garden bridge that was never built but he can’t find £5 million for the people of Greater Manchester.

“I really think the Prime Minister has crossed a Rubicon here, not just with the miserly way that he’s treated Greater Manchester, but the grubby take it or leave it way these local deals are being done.

“It’s corrosive to public trust to pit region against region, mayor against mayor, council against council, asking them to trade away their businesses and jobs.”


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