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PM Johnson says may have to intervene in Manchester

FILE PHOTO: A person cycles past a covid warning billboard, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Manchester, Britain October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would need to intervene to save lives in Manchester unless local leaders agree to a move to the highest COVID-19 alert level.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has resisted a move to put the area in the highest tier unless the government increases its financial support through the winter.

“If agreement cannot be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents. But our efforts will be so much more effective if we work together,” Johnson said at a news conference.

Reporting by William James and Michael Holden, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge