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Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg furiously snapped at Manchester mayor Andy Burnham while speaking in the House on Thursday. Mr Rees-Mogg accused the mayor of setting a poor example and feigning ignorance about what conversations were being had between the Government and local leaders. He also accused the mayor of playing party politics instead of focussing on the importance of resolving the issues surrounding the coronavirus crisis. 

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Regarding the Manchester issue, the Government has provided £60million of tax-payer money not £22million.

“In Lancaster, Liverpool and South Yorkshire agreement was reached with the mayors.

“Whereas in Manchester, we had this ridiculous fandango with the mayor pretending he didn’t know when he had been told by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, hours earlier.

“It was as if Mr Burnham was trying to go on the stage, a most ridiculous prancing performance that one could imagine.

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“This is when he seriously should have been trying to help the people of Manchester which is what the Government was doing.

“I am afraid he was playing party politics of the cheapest and most disagreeable kind.”

Mr Rees-Mogg continued to praise other local leaders who quickly agreed a solution to new coronavirus measures across the country.

He said: “This is while other people, including the mayor of Liverpool who was very clear of his political opinions when he was in this house, he was able to work with the Government and was able to put aside party political differences.

“I think he has shown himself to be a model of how to behave.”

For the past two weeks, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has resisted the calls for more coronavirus measures in his area.

He has argued that there was a need for significant financial support from the Government to counteract the negative impacts of a Tier 3 lockdown.

He has also stated it is not just about how much money but having a clear path on how to come out of the new lockdown format.


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Despite Mr Burnham’s protests, Boris Johnson announced with “regret” he would be imposing Tier 3 restrictions on Manchester without local support on Tuesday.

The new rules, which come into effect on Friday at 00:01 BST, mean household mixing isn’t allowed inside or outside.

Pubs and bars are also being forced to close unless they also serve substantial meals.

Mr Johnson argued “not to act now” would endanger the lives of Manchester residents.

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