Boris Johnson announcement: PM to give press conference this afternoon with top medics

Boris Johnson announcement: PM to give press conference this afternoon with top medics


BORIS Johnson will address the nation at 5pm this evening in a Downing Street press conference with the Government's top medics.

The PM will be flanked by deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam and NHS Director Stephen Powis to lay out plans to put Manchester and other areas under tougher restrictions.

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Downing Street is still in the throes of an almighty a stand-off with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham over pushing the city into drastic Tier 3 measures after local leaders have held off more lockdown restrictions.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick issued Mr Burnham an ultimatum last night, telling him to agree to further restrictions by midday today or the Government will slap the new rules on them anyway.

Mr Johnson is expected to reveal the details of any agreement hashed out with Mr Burnham this evening – or force in them into lockdown.

A spokesperson for No10 said this lunchtime: "At 5pm the PM will lead a press conference with Jonathan Van Tam and Steve Powis.

"They will set out the latest data in terms of infections and hospital admissions.

"Also expect it where the PM will set out the next steps in relation to Greater Manchester and the local political leaders there."

Mr Johnson hosted a press conference last Friday, telling Mr Burnham he was "risking lives" by not allowing the city to come under further lockdown measures.

Mr Burnham admitted this morning he would ask people to obey the law if he was ordered into the next set of restrictions by Mr Johnson today.

He said this morning: "We would ask people to obey the law, we are quite clear about that…. (but) I can’t just accept more and more and more restrictions, that causes health harm in a different way.

"We will say to people you have to obey the law of the land."

But he warned that imposing new rules without his backing may lose the public support for lockdown measures and the fight against the virus.

Mr Burnham wants the Chancellor to pay more towards people's wages than the two thirds he has promised so far, for firms that have to close.

Bars and pubs which don't serve food, and gyms and other indoor areas in some areas have been ordered to shut to stop coronavirus from spreading.

Manchester has been offered around £22 million but leaders want as much as £72 million.


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