Boris Johnson calls 5pm conference after Tier 3 Manchester stand-off

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Boris Johnson will hold a press conference at Downing Street today after a deadline passed to reach an agreement with local leaders for a Tier 3 lockdown for Greater Manchester.

The Prime Minister will appear at 5pm alongside Stephen Powis, the director of NHS England, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam.

He is expected to set out the Government's next steps in relation to stricter controls in Greater Manchester.

The PM spoke directly to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham on the phone at lunchtime today.

Downing Street said talks had continued on Tuesday morning at official level ahead of the midday deadline for an agreement.

The PM’s official spokesman said: "The talks have been ongoing this morning.

“I am not in a position to confirm how that has been resolved.”

Local leaders in Greater Manchester have been locked in talks for 10 days with officials over introducing stricter restrictions in order to curb coronavirus from spreading.

They have been calling for more financial support for businesses which will be forced to shut under the ‘higher’ alert level.

Being moved to Tier 3 would mean the area’s 2.8million residents would face the highest Covid-19 restrictions.

A deadline was set for midday today, with ministers claiming a failure to reach an agreement meant the Government had no choice but to act.

  • Manchester's coronavirus hospital capacity 'overwhelmed by November 12' warns Govt

Council leaders in Greater Manchester had been arguing for a minimum of £75million of funding, according to the BBC.

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi said £22million had been offered to the area, equivalent to £8 per person.

He said there would be “additional support”.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed there were now "more Covid-19 patients in Greater Manchester hospitals than in the whole of the South West and South East combined”.

In a statement on Monday night, he warned a failure to reach agreement by midday on Tuesday would mean he would have to "advise the Prime Minister that, despite our best endeavours, we've been unable to reach agreement".

But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham accused ministers of acting provocatively.

He said he would "try to be positive and respond, and see if we can find a way forward" despite the "slightly provocative move”.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese previously said: “Clearly if Government imposes Tier 3 – and I hope that won’t happen – we will clearly need to comply with that.”

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