Greater Manchester eyes millions in extra lockdown funding as talks continue

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 19, 2020

Mr Burnham will on Monday hold talks with Sir Edward Lister, Mr Johnson's chief of staff, and Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, at which the Government will make a financial offer to the mayor and Greater Manchester's council leaders.

"That's why I'll be writing to the Labour Party leaders in Westminster to ask them to intervene, for Parliament to intervene, here", Mr Burnham told Marr.

He said the "clear national entitlements" similar to during the first lockdown are essential to create the "sense of fairness" to ensure compliance with new restrictions.

Mr Burnham has not ruled out a legal challenge against the government if Tier 3 restrictions are imposed without greater financial help for businsses. Downing Street confirmed this after the two sides struggled to arrange talks the day before.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove on Sunday accused Mr Burnham of having engaged in political "posturing" and called for him to accept the measures "to save people's lives".

"All of this is happening as we move closer to the winter and instead of press conferences and posturing, what we need is action to save people's lives".

Senior Conservative backbencher Sir Graham, who is the MP for Altrincham and Sale West in Greater Manchester, told BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House that the region's Labour and Tory MPs were "pretty united" in opposing Tier 3.

Mr Burnham will be under renewed pressure to accept a lockdown after the Guardian reported a leaked NHS document revealed Greater Manchester is set to run out of beds to treat those seriously ill with Covid-19 and that some of the region's 12 hospitals are already full.

It's a serious situation but I don't think it was the situation that was described by the Prime Minister on Friday evening.

And the mayor is calling for greater financial support for workers and businesses.

But pressed on whether the measure could be taken in the future, he said that "blanket restrictions across the country" are not merited by the disease "at the moment".

"It's better to do it now than in a month's time", he told Ridge.

"I'm not sure a sort of "we're alright Jack" letter from a group of southern Conservative MPs is going to cut much ice here", Mr Burnham said.

And he told MPs it was "everywhere's concern" because all areas could end up in Tier 3 measures with the lower support package of a 66% subsidy for those whose firms are forced to shut.

- Concerns were raised after it emerged that people who have been told to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace could have their contact details shared with police.

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