BBC’s Andrew Marr snaps at Burnham ahead of crunch Boris call – ‘You have to give ground!’
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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.”
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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.”
Earlier today, local leaders denied Downing Street’s claim that talks have been arranged to resolve a row.
No 10 told the BBC it had arranged a call with Mr Burnham, on Sunday morning – but Mr Burnham’s office said no such call had been scheduled.
However, Mr Burnham did confirm to Andrew Marr that he is expecting to speak to Sir Edward Lister later today to see if a deal can be thrashed out on local lockdown.
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