More than 50 Tory MPs have signed a letter asking Boris Johnson to provide a “road map” out of lockdown for the north – with several areas now under Tier 3 restrictions.
Warrington became the latest northern region to enter Tier 3 this week – joining Liverpool City Region, South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester in the ‘very high’ local COVID alert level.
Nottingham in the Midlands will also move up to Tier 3 at 00.01 Thursday.
This will leave more than eight million people living under the tightest regulations – which include bans on household mixing and the closure of pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals.
Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres must also shut in Tier 3 areas.
The north has been hit hardest by restrictions since the second wave of COVID-19 hit the UK, and a group of Tory MPs representing these regions – known as The Northern Research Group – have written to the Prime Minister and asked him to provide “a clear road map down the tiering system and out of lockdown”.
The letter, put forward by Jake Berry – Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen – warns that the north is being “disproportionately” affected by the measures.
“The virus has exposed in sharp relief the deep structural and systemic disadvantage faced by our communities and it threatens to continue to increase the disparity between the North and South still further,” the letter reads.
Berry’s statement also emphasises that there has never “been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.”
A Number 10 spokesman said: “We are absolutely committed to levelling up across the country and building back better after coronavirus.
“We stood at the last election on a solemn promise that we would improve people’s lives, and although the pandemic has meant 2020 is not the year we all hoped it would be, our ambitions for the country are unchanged.”