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North-west being set up like ‘canaries in coalmine’, says Burnham

Manchester mayor backed by Tory MPs in opposition to tier 3 Covid lockdown measures

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The north-west of England will not accept being treated “as canaries in the coal mine for an experimental regional lockdown strategy” that even the government’s own medical advisers don’t think will work, the mayor of Greater Manchester has said.

Andy Burnham was backed by exasperated Conservative MPs in opposing Greater Manchester and Lancashire joining the Liverpool city region in the “very high risk” tier 3 category, which means the closure of pubs and bars. Negotiating with the government was like “talking to a brick wall”, complained one.

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