Live updates: PM gives speech about post-18 education as part of ‘levelling up’ agenda but faces backlash from council leaders in north east over latest restrictions

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has also been speaking out about the way the government is imposing local coronavirus restrictions. In a tweet, he says it is unfair that Bolton’s pubs are closed, while pubs are open in areas with higher Covid rates.

This is the problem with local restrictions.
Once they’re in, they tend to stay in.
And the longer they’re in, the more the anomalies/injustices grow.
Either Ministers close hospitality in places with high cases with compensation. Or let Bolton’s open today.
It’s that simple. https://t.co/yvmladLlEo

Good morning. Boris Johnson is giving a major speech this morning and it’s a rare example of prime ministerial intervention not mainly focused on coronavirus. He is speaking about post-18 education, and he will say he’s “transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain”. It is the part of the “levelling up” agenda he wanted to be focusing on if it had not been for coronavirus.

There are details of the announcement here. And here is the Guardian’s write-up.

My statement tonight on the way that further restrictions for the North East have been announced today – no local involvement or warning, and no sign of the business support we desperately need to protect as many jobs as possible. pic.twitter.com/ta29YUkWS0

It was announced in the House of Commons and we were not told beforehand that announcement was going to be made. However, we had had discussions last week that led us to believe that this was going to happen. We just weren’t pre-warned that it was actually going to happen. It didn’t help.

I got inundated with telephone calls and emails last night from people asking, ‘Can we do this, can we do that?’ and actually I didn’t have the precise wording of the regulations in front of us.

Related: Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; White House Covid taskforce rift deepens

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