LEIGH MP James Grundy has urged the government to exclude the area from the tightening of lockdown restrictions in Greater Manchester.

On Thursday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said different households in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire are to be banned from meeting each other indoors.

Mr Hancock said "households gathering and not abiding by the social-distancing rules" was a reason for the stricter rules and it was in order to "keep the country safe".

This followed a spike in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the region.

Before the announcement Oldham had seen its seven-day rate increase from 23.3 to 54.3, with 128 new cases and Trafford's seven-day rate was up from 15.2 to 41.0, with 97 new cases.

But Wigan's increase has been less severe, rising from 3.4 to 7.1, with 23 new cases.

However, the new restrictions apply to the whole of Greater Manchester, including Leigh as part of the borough of Wigan.

Mr Grundy has hit out at the measures being applied to the borough and called for them to be lifted for the area.

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In a video on Friday, the Conservative MP said: "I know that many will have concerns about this.

"I myself, according to the data available to us, was concerned that borough of Wigan, including the Leigh constituency, should not necessarily be included in these lockdown measures given that we have one of the lowest infection rates for Covid in the region.

"On that basis I have had a meeting with Matt Hancock this afternoon and I've requested that he look at reviewing whether Wigan borough should be included in the Greater Manchester lockdown. He has agreed to look at that and I will have an update for you as soon as we can.

"Until the changes are made, we ask that people obey the rules as they've been set out.

"Obviously we're hoping these measures are lifted as soon as possible but until then we ask that you abide by them but we're working to get them lifted as soon as we can."

Leigh Journal:

Mr Grundy believes the area's lower infection rate should mean it is exempt from the Greater Manchester-wide measures

Alongside Mr Grundy in the video, Cllr Michael Winstanley, leader of the Conservative Group on Wigan Council, called for a "more sophisticated approach" from the government to lockdown measures.

He said: "I'd like to echo James' sentiments. I don't believe Wigan borough should have been included in this GM lockdown.

"I think the government need to be much more sophisticated about how they approach lockdown measures. I don't think GM should have a blanket ban. I think we need to look at this borough by borough, and if necessary, town by town.

"We don't want to see a second spike across Greater Manchester or the Wigan borough so we need to make sure we have got a targeted approach that deals with it as and when these issues arrive."