The Prime Minister could offer up to £100m to Manchester’s leaders to accept the government’s proposed tier 3 restrictions.

Following “constructive” talks between ministers and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham yesterday (18 October), it is understood that Johnson could be willing to offer tens of millions in financial support should Burnham accept tougher restrictions today.

As was suggested in Johnson’s press conference on Friday (16 October), if local leaders continued to refuse the restrictions, they could risk having them imposed regardless.

Whilst Burnham’s key demand – the return of 80% furlough – has been dismissed by government sources as “nonsense”, the Manchester Mayor is said to be holding talks today with Sir Edward Lister, Mr Johnson’s chief of staff, and Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, to discuss a financial support package.

The news comes after Burnham wrote directly to Johnson and other opposition leaders yesterday to call for a “cross-party consensus” on the distribution of restrictions, arguing that infection rates were increasing nationwide and most areas would be in tier 3 “at some point before a vaccine is found.”

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