Tier 3 looms for Greater Manchester - Confusion and anger among local leaders

Reporter: Grace Marner
Date published: 15 October 2020

Leaders in Greater Manchester have been expressing their disappointment, confusion and anger about the Government's handling of Tier 3 discussions in the region.

Sky News reported last night (Wednesday 14th October) that they understood "the Joint Biosecurity Centre's Gold Command has signed off on Tier 3 restrictions being implemented for Greater Manchester and Lancashire" with a final decision to come from Downing Street today. 

Before this revelation, Andy Burnham tweeted to say he was involved in a briefing with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer that evening but later retweeted Sky News saying that at no point in that briefing was that news communicated to him. 

He added that his position "has not changed". Earlier yesterday afternoon, he told a news conference that he was considering legal action if the Government placed the region into Tier 3.

MP for Oldham West and Royton weighed in with his disappointment on Twitter too.

In a series of tweets, he said:

"Less than *a day* in Tier 2, but now we are on Tier 3 and @Number10press wonders why there no trust. There is no confidence - an absolute mess and people will be rightly angry More to the point where is the financial support for business and jobs.

"It wasn’t that long ago Matt Hancock said Boris Johnson wouldn’t agree to local restrictions without the support of local leaders, seems like with everything else it wasn’t true: government own fully what follows."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will deliver a statement to MPs in the Commons later this morning.

Speaking to Sky News ahead of that, business minister Nadhim Zahawi appeared to confirm that Manchester will be moved to Tier 3.

He told Kay Burley that the region's MPs should attend this morning's meeting "so they can hear directly from the chief medical officer, from the deputy chief medical officer, as to why we're having to take this action".

However, Mr Zahawi then appeared to backtrack somewhat, adding: "They need to see the data and of course that decision will be made jointly with the local leaders."

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