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Greater Manchester’s highest-profile leader has dashed hopes of a deal to bring the area into tier 3 on Monday
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has slapped down the government's latest offer of extra financial support in exchange for agreeing to a tier 3 lockdown, saying 'it's not about the size of the cheque'.

Boris Johnson had reportedly offered local leaders in Greater Manchester up to £100 million on Monday to accept the highest level of restrictions.

The prime minister is seeking to gain their consent for the move but has said he is prepared to impose it if there is no agreement.

Mr Burnham told Sky News he is holding out for more generous financial support schemes for workers and firm affected by the new restrictions and is 'not just going to roll over at the sight of a cheque'.

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UK PM Boris Johnson and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham
The government has pledged to pay workers nationwide two-thirds of their wages if their employer is forced to shut, but the Manchester mayor wants the guarantee upped to 80 per cent.

He added: 'It's not about the size of the cheque, it's about protecting low-paid workers, people who are self-employed and supporting businesses.'

Recent data suggests some of Greater Manchester's 12 hospitals are rapidly filling up while the talks drag on.

A leaked NHS document showed 211 of the 257 critical care beds across the hospitals were being used for Covid patients or those critically ill from other illnesses on Friday.

Stepping Hill Hospital and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust were both operating at full capacity, with Royal Bolton running at 94 per cent capacity, according to figures from the Greater Manchester Critical Care Network.

On average, hospitals across the region had just 18 per cent capacity remaining for new patients.

The NHS said in a statement: 'We are monitoring the situation with our hospital admissions, overall beds and ITU beds very, very closely.

'It's not unusual for 80% to 85% of ICU beds to be in use at this time of year and our hospitals work together if there are particular pressures in any one area, to ensure the best care for patients who need the high level of support ICU provides, both for COVID and for other reasons.'

Prior to Mr Burnham's comments there were indications a deal was within reach after his team described talks with Downing Street as 'constructive'.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick remarked 'the contours of an agreement are there', but has warned a deal needs to be struck by the end of Tuesday.

He added: 'I think the discussions have been productive but they've probably gone on too long - we need to reach an agreement with local leaders.

'I'm hopeful we can reach an agreement but I do think we need to conclude this now.

'There's been a sense of uncertainty which isn't helpful to people living in Greater Manchester, and more importantly the number of cases is rising and the pressure on some of the hospitals is there for all to see.'