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Andy Burnham demands ‘compensation’ from Nicola Sturgeon over travel ban

·2 min read
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham accused the Scottish government of hypocrisy (Getty Images)
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham accused the Scottish government of hypocrisy (Getty Images)

Andy Burnham has demanded "compensation" for Manchester from the Scottish government over advice banning travel to the North West.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester accused Nicola Sturgeon's administration of acting with "hypocrisy" for imposing the restrictions without consultation and said the policy had come "out of the blue".

The Scottish first minister on Friday announced at a coronavirus briefing that "anyone" travelling in Greater Manchester or Lancashire should "think carefully about whether your journey is really necessary".

Reacting to the announcement on Sunday Mr Burnham said he was "really disappointed" and that the Scottish government had announced the measure.

"That is exactly what the SNP always accuse the Westminster Government of doing, riding roughshod over people," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"The SNP are treating the north of England with the same contempt in bringing that in without any consultation with us."

He added: "I just think it's double standards, it's hypocrisy. They've done to us exactly what they always complain that the UK government does to Scotland."

"I'll be writing to the First Minister today. I'll be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might lose bookings.

"Why should a couple from Salford who are double jabbed who are about to go on a walking holiday in Scotland not be able to go?

"It's completely disproportionate in my view - we could have come up with a different arrangement if the First Minister had been in touch with us."

Speaking on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show, Scottish Government trade minister Ivan McKee said a decision on Covid-19 had to be made quickly.

"The virus, as we know, moves very fast, decisions are made very fast and those decisions are communicated at a four nations level," he said.

"Andy Burnham... is going to write to the First Minister about it, that's absolutely fine and I'm sure there will be a conversation about how we can keep him better informed in future."

The North West has seen a surge of cases in recent weeks, recording an increase of 2,538 on the previous day. There are currently 411 people in the region's hospitals being treated for Covid-19, including 83 on ventilators.

Mr Burham himself on June 8 told people in the region to minimise travel, though he stressed that the situation was “not a lockdown”.

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