BORIS Johnson has overruled local leaders to put Greater Manchester into tier three of Covid restrictions.

Mayor Andy Burnham said the region of 2.8 million people was now facing “a winter of real hardship”.

He said Greater Manchester’s 10 council leaders had asked for £65m from UK Government, but the Tories were only willing to part with £22m.

Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, walked away from the talks at 2pm after refusing to increase the offer. 

Burnham said the discussion had turned into a “game of poker with people’s lives”.

The mayor said he was still willing to do a deal with the government but he added: “It cannot be on the terms that the government offered today because on those things I could not meet the commitments I made to people on the lowest incomes, to people who are self employed, to the freelancers in this city, who need our support, I could not do it on those terms.

“How can we carry the public with us through this pandemic if we are forcing them to lose their income, their place of work, without supporting them through that? How is that going to help people?"

Johnson said "not to act now" would put the lives of Manchester's residents "at risk".

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said, in addition to the £22m, a "generous and extensive offer to support Manchester's businesses" had been put on the table.

"This offer was proportionate to the support we have given Merseyside and Lancashire [the other areas in tier three], but the mayor didn't accept this unfortunately," the PM said.

Furious local Tory MPs accused the Government of punishing the area for not being cooperative.