Furious local leaders condemn ‘spiteful’ and ‘nasty’ imposition of Tier 3 rules

Boris Johnson has announced the new measures will apply from early on Friday.

The Wigan Pier Quarter (Wigan Council/PA)
The Wigan Pier Quarter (Wigan Council/PA)

Local politicians have reacted angrily to the “spiteful, vindictive and nasty” way Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions are being introduced in Greater Manchester.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that harsher rules would come into effect in the region from the early hours of Friday, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, with £22 million of support for local authorities.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said attempts to strike a deal collapsed after the Government refused to meet his demand for £65m to support the livelihoods of people in the region as they face the closure of pubs, bars, bookmakers and other premises.

The Government is yet to confirm if there will be any extra cash for businesses, which provoked anger from Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell.

She said: “It’s an utter disgrace that businesses and workers in GM won’t get an extra penny from government to support them in Tier 3.

“Andy is right: it’s utter spite.

“The idea of all in this together has been totally shattered this week.”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner was similarly enraged, and called the lockdown news “disgraceful” and “a punishment”.

She said: “Greater Manchester been badly let down by the PM and his cronies in govt.

“Spiteful, Vindictive and Nasty, so many will now suffer great hardship, it will be the ones again who can least take it.”

She had said earlier: “The Government have failed us in Gtr Mcr and we won’t forget it.”

“Andy Burnham is right to stand up to protect our communities.”

Ms Rayner is the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne which will now also be moved into the Tier 3 category

Mr Burnham spoke to reporters in Manchester minutes shortly beore the Prime Ministers Downing Street address, and was informed of the £22m figure when shown on a phone.

Coronavirus – Tue Oct 20, 2020
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham (left) with leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese showing him when the measures will come into force (Jacob King/PA)

The shadow foreign secretary called the incident “disgraceful”.

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan tweeted: “In 10 years in Parliament I’ve never seen anything like this.

“MPs are on a call with the Health Secretary being told Greater Manchester is getting only £22m while our mayor is at a press conference being told by the media.

“This is bad faith, it’s immoral – just disgraceful.”

She added: “I grew up under Thatcher but I’ve honestly never seen anything like this.”

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