By Tony Winterburn • 09 October 2020 • 8:11
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from Northern leaders outraged at being ‘kept it the dark’ over leaked lockdown plans.
Northern leaders in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, and surrounding districts condemned the leak of plans to shut thousands of pubs and restaurants that appeared in newspapers without them even knowing about it.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has revealed that the first time he had heard about potential new lockdown measures in the north was when he read it the newspaper. He tweeted that he wasn’t informed about any plans despite the fact he’s had two meetings with Cabinet Ministers this week. The mayor also tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”
The North-South divide?
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis went on to tweet: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip Boris Johnson.”
Northern leaders also say there is a growing divide between them and areas in the south. Restrictions were slapped on parts of Greater Manchester when COVID cases were at less than 20 per 100,000 people – yet most of England is now above that rate without suffering a local lockdown.
Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram fumed: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North/South divide in measures being taken. “Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by the central government.”
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