Tuesday 20 October 2020 7:13 pm

Greater Manchester to move into Tier 3 from Friday

Greater Manchester will move into Tier 3 restrictions from midnight on Thursday night, Boris Johnson has announced.

The city will receive an extra £22m of financial support after talks between central and local government fell apart. Mayor Andy Burnham described the offer as “brutal”.

Read more: Andy Burnham turns down £60m in Tier 3 funding for Manchester

“This is no way to run the country in a national crisis”, he said.”They should not be grinding people down, trying to accept the least they can get away with. £22m to fight the situation we are in is frankly disgraceful.”

Under the new restrictions, bars and pubs will have to close unless they are serving substantial meals, while betting shops, casinos and bingo halls will all shut as well.

Around 1,900 pubs will be hit by the new restrictions. Industry body the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said their survival was “hanging perilously in the balance”.

“Over the last ten days, we tried to get an approach with local leaders in Greater Manchester. Unfortunately, agreement wasn’t reached”, Johnson said.

“We made a generous and extensive offer to support Manchester’s business. This offer was proportionate to the support we have given Merseyside and Lancashire.

“The mayor did not accept this unfortunately and given the health situation I must now proceed with moving Greater Manchester to the very high alert level.”

The £22m in extra funding is in line with standard funding for Tier 3 areas and comes in addition to other support, as well as access to help with contact tracing and enforcement measures.

Business body the CBI said that any further restrictions should “be joined in lockstep by financial measures which protect livelihoods during what is certain to be a difficult winter”.

The Prime Minister said that he “bitterly regretted” imposing the additional restrictions, but would continue to talk to local leaders.

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He added that he could not rule out a second national lockdown, but was trying to avoid that eventuality.

The announcement came after Burnham revealed he had turned down £60m in emergency funding in exchange for accepting the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

Burham said he had originally asked for £90m, and was willing to accept £65m, but the government walked away from talks that lasted a week.

“At no point today were we offered enough to protect our communities against the punishing reality of the winter to come,” Burnham said.

“I don’t believe we can proceed as a country on this basis through the pandemic by grinding communities now, by punishing financial negotiations.”

Burnham had said he was still open to making a deal with the government, and in a statement to Parliament later health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that a £60m offer was still on the table.

Manchester MPs reacted with fury to this evening’s announcement, with Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy saying the government was “waging war” on the city.

“We were told £22m is for test and trace, not a single extra penny promised to help businesses and minimum wage workers”, she wrote on Twitter.

“The Government appears to be waging war on the people of Greater Manchester. I grew up under Thatcher but I’ve honestly never seen anything like this.”

BBPA boss Emma McClarkin said that thousands of jobs would be at risk in Greater Manchester unless ministers went further.

Read more: Number 10: Manchester hospitals will be soon overrun without Tier 3 restrictions

“We are a people business – our staff and customers are everything – we are nothing without them. In Greater Manchester alone, 32,000 livelihoods are supported by these local pubs”, she said.

“Government must now do the right thing and provide our sector with a job retention scheme that will truly protect jobs.”

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