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  1. SW Tories sign letter on Manchester Covid restrictions

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    MPs from across the greater South West, including Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire, were among 20 Tories who over the weekend wrote to urge Greater Manchester's mayor to "engage" with the government's coronavirus restrictions, which prompted anger from some of their own colleagues.

    Ministers said Greater Manchester needs to be in the top tier of restrictions, but local leaders said they wanted better financial support before they agree to being moved up to the top tier of rules.

    Local elected mayor Andy Burnham said he wanted the government to re-introduce the 80% furlough scheme used previously in the pandemic to support the low paid affected by tier three closures.

    Four Conservative MPs for the region said the from the 20 MPs letter was unhelpful.

    Meanwhile, further delays to the decision on Greater Manchester's Covid restrictions would "put people's lives at risk", the communities secretary has said.

    Robert Jenrick said he hoped he could reach an agreement with the region's MPs, and Mr Burnham, on Monday.

    Talks are due to continue later after a weekend of discussions.

    The South West MPs who signed the letter included -

    From Cornwall:

    • Steve Double
    • Scott Mann
    • Cherilyn Mackrory
    • Sheryll Murray

    From Devon:

    • Selaine Saxby
    • Anne Marie Morris

    From Somerset: Marcus Fysh

    From Wiltshire: Danny Kruger

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