Sir Keir Starmer has defended Andy Burnham, saying that the mayor of the greatest Manchester ‘has quite a right to stand for his community.
Labor leader’s comments come after Boris Johnson failed to reach an agreement with Greater Manchester leaders on ‘Tier 3’ restrictions.
I said Sir Keir ITV Granada reports that politicians in the region are ‘fighting’ against restrictions they believe are ‘flawed and unfair’.
Asked if Mr Burnham and other leaders should do as required by the central government and enter Level 3, Sir Keir said: “The government should have included those leaders much earlier in the process.
“It was ‘Whitehall knows better’ and that is not acceptable.”
He added: “Andy Burnham has every right to stand up for his community and say ‘it’s not good enough to impose restrictions on us and not give us the financial support we need to go with them.’ “
Sir Keir is calling for a two- to three-week period of a ‘county break’ that could see the closure of non-core offices, limiting the mixing of houses in a family and the closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants. Schools, he says, can stay open.
The Prime Minister today described the Covid situation in Greater Manchester as “grave” and deteriorating every day.
Mr Johnson stressed that he would intervene if an agreement on Level 3 restrictions was not reached.
Andy Burnham says Greater Manchester leaders are “fighting” against restrictions they say are “flawed and unfair”.
The mayor said they had been ‘on standby all day’ on Friday to resume talks with the government, but that a meeting had never been arranged.
The Prime Minister’s message was clear to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and his colleagues.
If an agreement could not be reached, Mr Johnson said he would intervene to “protect Manchester hospitals and save the lives of Manchester residents”.
“I urge the mayor to review and engage constructively,” he said.
“I can not stress enough, time is essential.
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