Coronavirus news - live: Burnham accuses Johnson of ‘exaggerating’ Covid situation amid warning Christmas will be ‘tough’

Samuel Osborne and Sam Hancock
·1-min read

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has accused Boris Johnson of “exaggerating” the coronavirus situation in the region as he called for an end to the “war of words” between local leaders and ministers.

His comments came amid a stand-off between politicians in Greater Manchester and No 10 over the imposition of Tier 3 measures – the most severe restrictions – including the closure of all pubs and bars.

Mr Burnham has been calling for additional economic support for the region’s residents, but on Sunday Michael Gove risked inflaming tensions as he dismissed the concerns and accused him of political "posturing”.

Meanwhile, Christmas will be "tough" this year and not the "usual celebration" it traditionally is, Sage member Professor Jeremy Farrar has said.

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "Christmas will be tough this year. I don't think it's going to be the usual celebration it is and all families coming together, I'm afraid.

“I think we have to be honest and realistic and say that we are in for three to six months of a very difficult period.”