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Keir Starmer and Andy Burnham accused of ‘press conferences and posturing’ as Tories erupt | Politics | News


Mr Burnham is resisting Tier 3 measures in Greater Manchester and demanding more financial support for workers and businesses.

In a dig at the Mayor, the Cabinet Office minister told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Instead of press conferences and posturing what we need is action to save people’s lives.”

Mr Gove was grilled on whether the Government is willing to impose more draconian measures on Greater Manchester if the region’s political leaders continue to resist.

The Cabinet Office minister said: “I want to reach an agreement with the political leadership in Greater Manchester.

“I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they have indulged in and I want them to work with us in order to to ensure that we save lives and protect the NHS.

“Because an absence of action will mean more people get infected.

“As more people get infected that will place more pressure on the NHS.

“And the more people, sadly, in intensive care beds in the North West and in Manchester who are suffering from coronavirus, the fewer intensive care beds there for people with other serious conditions.

“All 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.”

He added: “There is a clear difference between the approach that has been taken in Liverpool and in Lancashire and these are civic leaders who are stepping up to the plate.”

Mr Gove’s comments come after Number 10 insisted a call had been scheduled with Mr Burnham for Sunday morning as the row rumbled on.

But the mayor’s office denied this.

A Downing Street source responded: “No 10 reached out this morning to try and arrange a meeting with the Mayor of Manchester.

“We will continue to try and reach an agreement on these difficult, yet necessary, measures to protect the NHS and the people of Manchester.”

Boris Johnson on Friday threatened to impose measures without local support.

The Prime Minister warned that “time is of the essence” and that “tragically more people will die” with each day of delay.

Mr Johnson is favouring local measures to get a grip on the spread of coronavirus.

But he is facing calls to order a short national lockdown dubbed a “circuit-breaker”.

It comes as Lancashire joined the Liverpool region in Tier 3 on Saturday.

Under the highest level of restrictions, pubs and bars are closed unless they serve meals and households are banned from mixing indoors and in gardens.

Tier 2 measures were also introduced in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

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