Northern Tory MPs who took Labour seats are angered over this decision to close businesses; they are also sceptical about the reasons why Labour Mayors have stepped in with a joint letter saying the Levelling up the pledge by the Tories will be broken by the new 66% furlough scheme which will not go far enough to help those who have been told to shut. Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It will level down the north of England and widen the North-South divide.”
In a letter which has been backed by Mr Burnham, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, Mayor of North of Tyne Jamie Driscoll, and Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council said: “We believe the Government should bring forward a separate vote on the financial package to provide an opportunity to reject the current financial package and requiring the Government to return with an improved package taking account of the important points we have raised.
“We would ask that you use whatever routes might be open to you to bring about a vote in the House.”
Tories who smashed down the red wall have responded in reaction to the Labour Mayors stepping in with a joint letter. Ashfield Conservative MP Lee Anderson said: “I think it’s a cynical attempt by Labour and the Left to exploit this whole situation… It is no wonder that people suspect that Labour mayors and other Labour politicians are trying to take advantage of this terrible situation we are in.
“It is disgusting. Voters see through it. It is absolutely awful. It is the politics of the gutter.”
Rother Valley Conservative MP Alexander Stafford said: “They are trying to cause division. Let’s be honest. This is a global disaster and national crisis ‘, and they are too willing to score political points rather than actually engaging.
“I think it’s a disgrace… I think it’s a naked attempt to boost support for Labour.”
But the Government was facing a warning from Britain’s leading Brexiteer economist Professor Patrick Minford that its COVID strategy “definitely” risks bankrupting the economy.
He said the idea of closing down the country again was “absolutely crazy”.
“You can’t indefinitely support people through Government hand-outs,” he said. “It’s not possible.”