Nicola Sturgeon treating north of England ‘with contempt’ says Manchester mayor

Nicola Sturgeon has treated the north of England “with the same contempt” which the SNP accuse Westminster of showing to Scotland, a furious Andy Burnham has claimed.

The Manchester mayor lashed out at the Scottish First Minister again on Sunday morning, saying that Sturgeon’s travel ban advice on Scots visiting to Manchester and Salford would lead to compensation claims.

He said: “The Scottish Government can’t just impose things on parts of the north of England with no discussion with us. That is simply wrong and they need to live by the same standards that they always call for from others.”

On Thursday Sturgeon announced new travel restrictions to either Manchester or Salford due to concern over covid infection levels.

Non-essential travel will not be allowed from Scotland in a move that infuriated the Labour city region mayor.

Burnham said: “It’s double standards, it’s as simple as that. It’s hypocrisy because they’re doing to us exactly what they’ve always complain that the UK Government does to Scotland.”

He added: “I’ll be writing to the First Minister today, I’ll be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might lose bookings. Why should a couple from Salford who are double jabbed not be able to go on a walking holiday in Scotland? It’s completely disproportionate.”

Burnham called for more co-operation from the Scottish government on handling covid restrictions.

He said: “We need an arrangement here, the Scottish Government can’t just impose things on parts of the north of England with no discussion with us, that is simply wrong.”

Ivan McKee, the Scottish Trade Minister said decisions on covid restrictions were made quickly and communicated through the four nations at inter-government level.

He said: “I’m sure that we can have a conversation about how we can keep Andy Burnham better informed in the future. As I say those decisions are made based on the data and made quickly and communicated across the four nations of the UK, that is the process we go through.”

McKee added: “ There are always different parts of England moving in and out of different levels at different times and we respond to the data that’s in front of us. If Andy Burnham wants to have a conversation about that I’m sure we’ll be very amenable to talk about it.”

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