Manchester Mayor: "Lockdown was eased too soon for the North"

14 May 2020, 16:34

By Fiona Jones

Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham said the lockdown changes the Prime Minister announced on Sunday were "a little rushed" and "went a little too far" for the North.

The "Stay at Home" message was dropped too early for the north of England, he said.

"It's a different picture across England and we certainly are a couple of weeks behind London and the south east so I have a concern about the way it was done and what was actually communicated," he continued, reiterating he was not "breaking away."

"I just think it would help everybody if we had that R number published for all of the English regions, because then the public could make their own judgements about how much risk they would be exposing themselves to if they were to make major changes to their life."

Shelagh observed there does seem to need to be localised regulations across the UK as the pace can differ between places.

The Mayor said that was true and it did "come as a bit of a surprise" to people in the North, especially as some of the restriction lifting went "a bit further than I would".

"Given that the hospital cases here are higher, and the R number is higher, any changes will expose the North to greater risk given those factors. What I wanted to do was say to the government at least give us that information about the rates of infection so we can apply some extra guidance to your message," Mr Burnham said.

The R rate is 0.8 for Yorkshire and the North East and it is around 0.4 for London; Mr Burnham said there is a "pretty big difference between the two halves of England."

He advised that on top of the government's regulations, it's right for other leaders in the North to tell people to take the government's message but also look at the risks and "go towards the cautious end."

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

'Better late than never': Economist reacts to Rishi Sunak's cost of living support package

'Better late than never': Economist reacts to Rishi Sunak's cost of living support package

'Why did I bother sticking by the rules?': Chris Bryant tells of lockdown struggle to find care for dad

'Why did I bother with the rules?': Chris Bryant's lockdown struggle to find care for dad

'He should be absolutely ashamed': Shelagh Fogarty slams PM over Partygate

'He should be absolutely ashamed': Shelagh Fogarty slams PM over Partygate

Minister calls for collaboration to tackle 'absolutely horrific' spiking of students

Minister calls for collaboration to tackle 'absolutely horrific' spiking of students

Mother tells LBC 'systemic racism' in Met 'shattering faith' of black youth

Mother tells LBC 'systemic racism' in Met 'shattering faith' of black youth

Children's social care 'crumbling' and 'not fit for purpose' warns foster carer

Children's social care 'crumbling' and 'not fit for purpose' warns foster carer

Shelagh Fogarty: I think anyone who invades a football pitch is an idiot

Shelagh Fogarty: I think anyone who invades a football pitch is an idiot

'Moronic nutters' invading pitches 'bring shame' on football, John Stapleton fumes

'Moronic nutters' invading pitches 'bring shame' on football, John Stapleton fumes

'We're told to smile whilst we're sexually harassed': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

'We're told to smile whilst it happens': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

Tory Cllr: Boris Johnson has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation

Boris has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation, Tory councillor says

Caller, who lost mother, brands Boris Johnson a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Caller, who lost mother, brands PM a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' of UK nurse supply, warns RCN Deputy Nursing Dir

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' within NHS, warns nursing chief

Britain's ability to sign trade deals will be damaged if it unilaterally dumps the Northern Ireland protocol according to Nick Thomas-Symonds

Truss damaging UK's reputation with NI Protocol 'threats', Labour MP warns

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

'Terrified': Stella Creasy tells LBC of gang rape threats at university

'My gang rape fear': Stella Creasy tells of sex harassment hell at Cambridge

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP blasts neighbours' extensions voting plan

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP on neighbours' extensions voting plan