Exclusive: “Fuming” Leader of Bolton Council Demands Starmer Retracts Claim He Supports Lockdown

At PMQs Sir Keir dropped his ‘forensic’ attention to detail, claiming all 10 leaders of Manchester’s local councils back Labour’s plan for a circuit breaker lockdown, including – seemingly embarrassingly – the Tory leader of Bolton Council. On the immediate face of it, this was untrue. The statement actually put out by Manchester’s local leaders says:

If cases continue to rise as predicted… a number of Leaders in greater Manchester believe a national circuit break, with the required financial support, would be a preferable option”

On top of this inaccuracy, Guido has now spoken to the Tory leader of Bolton Council, David Greenhalgh, who has said he is “fuming” at Starmer’s “completely untrue” claim he supports a lockdown. In the words of the Bolton Tory leader, Starmer’s claim is “absolutely disgraceful”…

Greenhalgh, during discussions with his fellow Manchester leaders, specifically couldn’t sign up to the statement’s support of a circuit breaker and was one of the local leaders behind the change in wording to “a number of Leaders” rather than a unanimous backing. Going further, David Greenhalgh has demanded Starmer returns to the Commons and retracts the untrue claim he backs the Labour leader’s plans.

Quite contrary to Sir Keir’s fact fail, Cllr Greenhalgh has promised to carry on speaking out “against a lockdown that damages jobs, businesses and the local economy”. Will Sir Keir show some contrition, or will Labour plough on regardless with clips of Starmer mistakenly telling Boris to “Keep up”…

UPDATE: Following Guido’s story, Labour has doubled down, telling The Mirror:

“The Conservative leader of Bolton Council signed that statement this morning which confirmed – and I quote – that a number of leaders in Greater Manchester believe a national circuit break with the required financial support would be the preferable option. If that’s not his position then it is for him to say so, although the statement didn’t include any of those caveats.”

Which is almost funny as they actually quoted Cllr Greenhalgh caveat from the official statement…

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