Boris Johnson opens with Tier 3: he thanks the leaders and mayors who've been working on this, 'in particular' those in Liverpool and Lancs, who have been working 'constructively'
These decisions 'were necessary' not only because of Covid infection rates, but admissions to ICU. Surgery would need to be cancelled if they didn't do this. This approach is backed up by 'significant' levels of financial support, he says.
'We have not yet reached an agreement with GM.' He completely understands the reluctance of the mayor and leaders. It will mean a 'difficult time' for people here. But: The situation in GM is 'grave and it worsens with each passing day'.
Infections have doubled in nine days here and are creeping up the age range, he says. There are now 40pc more Covid patients in ICU here than there were at the peak. (This isn't a stat I've heard before.)
He urges the mayor to engage constructively. If agreement cannot be reached 'I will need to save the lives of Manchester's residents'.
He disagrees with national lockdown. Closing businesses in Cornwall, where there are low cases, won't do anything for Manchester. He doesn't rule it out, but he wants to avoid it.
Not remotely surprised the government has deployed hospital data. It's the obvious thing to use in their argument: hospital data here isn't good, even if it isn't yet Liverpool.
Not heard him say 'moonshot' yet, I don't think...
This testing approach is what many, many people - especially local authorities - have been asking for. Liverpool will get priority.
I don't have a question at this press conference, but someone might want to ask about this…

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More from @JenWilliamsMEN

16 Oct
Notable that all of the pressure is being piled specifically on Andy Burnham, not council leaders (notable one of them, Bolton's, is Tory). As I said earlier in the week, govt will direct this at *him*; his high profile is both a blessing and a curse.
Today's press conference isn't a bit of a subtweet of Greater Manchester, it's basically just about Greater Manchester.
I think if you zoom back out to where we were earlier in the summer in Greater Manchester - then look at where we are now - it's important to bear in mind the battles that local public health have been through along the journey to this point.
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
Andy Burnham currently making a TV statement. He says GM was told by JVT last night that 'to bring the infection rates down any regional lockdown would require widespread closures way beyond pubs to stand any chance of working'
'and would have to be done in tandem with other neighbouring regions. And, even then, it would not be certain to work'.
'They are asking us to gamble our residents’ jobs, homes, and businesses - and a large chunk of our economy - on a strategy that their own experts tell them might not work.'
Read 27 tweets
15 Oct
Everyone now wondering what’s going to happen with GM. Strong, strong expectation govt will impose anyway. But, there’s near unanimous opposition from politicians here. Council leaders and Tory MPs are especially united in opposition.
One problem govt has is that if it grants GM extra £, it has to grant it everywhere headed into T3. Second problem: just because pols here are united in opposition, doesn’t mean they’re united on an alternative.
Third problem: im not sure granting extra £ would even be enough to bring some of them round anyway.
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
Breaking: GM leaders told there will be no imminent decision announced to the house this morning in GM.
Here’s what I think is happening

- GM leaders in meeting with No 10
- No 10 briefing nationals that they’ve been told measures will be imposed
- not actually the case
- simultaneously a pissed off health department is briefing GM MPs no decision yet taken
I could be wrong on this, of course. But from someone in the leaders meeting:

"Ed Lister is saying it has to be sorted today but the decision is to made by others. And there will be no imminent decision or announcement made about GM in the house this morning."
Read 12 tweets
14 Oct
This has been one of the hardest days of covering this crisis, for several reasons. The scale of the political row is actually pretty stressful: trying to put it in context and provide all perspectives is so hard (not fishing for thanks btw - it’s my job. But it’s all so grim)
Everyone I know is so tired and increasingly anxious. I know that’ll be the case in other places too (not just in the northern places teetering on tier 3 - but especially here).
Christmas markets cancelled, bonfire night cancelled, pubs there or thereabouts. It’s not that we all want to go out on benders (apart from those of us that do). It’s the sense that the net is closing in after being unable to visit each other for two and a half months.
Read 5 tweets
14 Oct
If govt hadn’t (and clearly Keir Starmer hadn’t) clocked this earlier they certainly have now
Bolton leader is absolutely fuming.
Read 4 tweets

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