MPs have hit out at the way the Tory Government have handled new restrictions in Northern England, with some saying they weren't invited to a briefing on the matter.

It comes as the Government prepares to announce sweeping new controls in an attempt to stem the surge of infections, with Boris Johnson due to set out his his three-tier strategy in a Commons statement tonight.

Parts of the North of England are bracing themselves for the most stringent Tier 3 controls, with Merseyside expected to have its pubs, gyms and casinos closed in a bid to suppress its infection rate.

Labour MP for Wigan Lisa Nandy criticised the way the Government has revealed details of the new restrictions system, saying she had not been invited to a briefing.

The shadow foreign secretary said: “Just learnt Greater Manchester will be placed into tier 2 restrictions via twitter. Apparently there was a government briefing for GM MPs but I can’t provide details because I wasn’t invited. I suspect this is because they don’t know where Wigan is. What an absolute shambles.”

Stockport MP Navendu Mishra also called the Government’s Covid briefing to local MPs “shambolic”.

He tweeted: “Just 21 minutes notice by @MattHancock for his #Covid19 briefing.

“Complete disdain by this Government for all those who live and work in Greater Manchester.”

Unlike Liverpool, bars and restaurants will stay open in Greater Manchester for now and the pubic will be told not to mix with other households anywhere indoors. That implies people will be able to mix in gardens, although it is understood that was not mentioned specifically in the briefing.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted that he was “glad the Government has listened” and avoided putting the region under the harshest lockdown measures.

He added: “But any restrictions will lead to loss of trade for businesses & challenges for councils. The PM must give all areas under restrictions full financial support. Anything less will see them levelled down.”

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said the second wave of coronavirus infections has emerged most prominently in northern England because rates had not dropped as low as in the South at the end of the national lockdown

He told a press briefing this afternoon that the increase in Covid-19 infections had become a “nationwide phenomenon”, but the North had seen the fastest rate of re-emergence because cases “never dropped as far in the summer” as they did in the South.

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Speaking at the press briefing, Dr Jane Eddleston, medical lead in Greater Manchester, said the North West currently has about 40% of Covid cases and 30% of the region’s critical care beds are taken up with patients suffering from the disease.

Professor Van-Tam, addressing a question about a presentation slide depicting a creeping rate rise in the South, said: “You have worried me now that I might have presented a bipolar picture that Covid-19 is a problem in the North and not a problem in the South.

“On the contrary, the epidemic this time has clearly picked up pace in the North of England earlier than it did in the first wave, and that almost certainly relates to the fact the disease levels in the North, and certainly in the North West, never dropped as far in the summer as they did in the South.

“But pretty much all areas of the UK are now seeing growths in the infection rate and that extending brown map that I showed you, which is sourced from the Joint Biosecurity Centre, absolutely makes that point.

“This is a nationwide phenomenon now that rates are changing upwards across the UK.”

Northern leaders have for weeks been claiming that the UK Government lifted the national spring lockdown restrictions with London and the South East in mind.

Figures show that on so-called “super Saturday” on July 4 when pubs, restaurants and hairdressers were allowed to reopen, recorded cases in the North West was 72 per 100,000 people compared with 29 cases in the South East.

Numbers in the North West did dip further, dropping as low as 54 on July 12 before starting to drift upwards from late July onwards, but the figures still did not plummet to the low of 21 seen in the South East on August 2.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted after the press conference: “I am grateful to the deputy chief medical officer for recognising this point.

“Too many rush to blame the public in the North without understanding this.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, asked about Professor Van-Tam’s comments at a Westminster briefing, said: “We were guided by the scientific and medical advice at the time as to when we could begin to ease the local lockdown restrictions.

“You will remember that was done in a very gradual and cautious way, and also the Prime Minister was clear at the time that it may well be possible that we would have to put on the brakes and reimpose some measures if you did see the infection rate starting to rise again.

“I think what you can see across Europe is the second wave of this virus and that is why we have been taking action in recent days and weeks to help to limit its spread.”