Andy Burnham sparked a stand-off with Boris Johnson this week after he resisted govenrment calls for Tier 3 restrictions for the Greater Manchester region. The Manchester Mayor demanded greater financial support for workers, prompting Mr Johnson to warn he may have to “intervene” and unilaterally impose a Tier 3 lockdown. Andrew Marr hit out at Mr Burnham, insisting the Labour Mayor had to “give ground” and “compromise” with Downing Street.
Mr Marr said: “If there is going to be some conclusion to this argument you have to give some ground, surely
“You can’t simply say ‘give us our money or we won’t talk’. What is your compromise?”
Mr Burnham denied that his stand-off with the prime Minister was about pressuring the government for a “big cheque”.
He said: “It’s not a case of give us our money, that we are just doing this for a big cheque.”
JUST IN: Michael Gove destroys Labour’s lockdown demands with one word
Mr Burnham added: “It is about people. It’s about people’s lives, businesses and homes, Andrew.”
In his interview, Mr Burnham accused the Prime Minister of exaggerating the coronavirus situation in Greater Manchester.
He told the BBC: “It’s a serious situation but I don’t think it was the situation described by the Prime Minister.”
Mr Burnham refused to rule out a legal challenge to the Tier 3 lockdown, saying: “I would do anything to protect lower paid workers.”
Tory cabinet minister Michael Gove earlier accused Andy Burnham of “press conferences and posturing” in the row over tougher coronavirus restrictions for Greater Manchester.
A group of Tory MPs also urged Greater Manchester’s mayor to “engage” with the government’s regional approach to restrictions.
In a letter to Andy Burnham and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, 20 MPs said a national lockdown would impose “severe costs” on areas with low transmission.
Mr Burnham ridiculed this latter, saying that a demand from “southern Conservatives will not cut much ice up here”.