CHRISTIAN Wakeford and James Daly have criticised the Mayor of Greater Manchester for saying it would be "impossible" to lift the current coronavirus restrictions in a single borough.

A letter to Matt Hancock from the elected officials says keeping the whole of Greater Manchester under lockdown until the outbreak is under control across the whole borough would be an "unacceptable approach".

Although the letter was written by James Grundy, the representative for Leigh, various other conservative MPs across Greater Manchester have signed it, including Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South, and James Daly, who represents Bury North.

The group say Andy Burnham's comment during a press conference on Wednesday was incorrect, as lockdown measures in Leicester were only applied in certain areas, and were lifted gradually, with some measures still in force within the city.

They also point to new restrictions in parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire as proof that the measures can be enforced on part of an area.

The letter reads: "The strategy pursued by Andy Burnham of a 'one size fits all' approach across the whole of Greater Manchester, irrespective of local infection rates, is not only wrong, but dangerous.

"This strategy risks spreading resources too thinly across the whole conurbation, including in areas with few or no cases.

"Measures must be taken on a borough by borough basis, and on a town by town basis in boroughs, where there are only one or two coronavirus 'hotspots', but the rates in other parts of the same borough are low.

"The Mayor of Greater Manchester has failed to understand that there is a great deal of variation in terms of infection rates and consequent need across Greater Manchester, and is seeking to impose a crude and ineffective strategy across the whole area."

The group urge Mr Hancock to address the "clear failings" in the strategy to prevent a full lockdown being imposed across the borough.

Addressing his constituents, James Daly added: "We have some areas in Greater Manchester with high infection rates, we have some areas with low infection rates.

"It is important that each area's figures are judged on their own merit."

The letter was written in response to Mr Burnham saying it would be "impossible" to lift stricter measures in Wigan, despite the borough having the lowest infection rates across Greater Manchester, as a spike could happen at any moment.

Although Wigan has seen an infection rate of just 7.3 in the week ending August 1, Burnham warned that the area could find itself going through a spike at any moment, as Trafford saw cases spike from 8.8 to 36.2 per 100,000 residents in two weeks.

Outbreaks in workplaces involving staff living in different parts of Greater Manchester was also raised as an issue preventing the change.

The letter provoked a response from Burnham on Twitter, with the elected official saying: "I’ve seen it all now.

"A group of Tory MPs write to a Tory Health Secretary trying to blame me for a decision which their own Tory Government made.

"So self-serving to politicise a serious public health issue like this.

"Not sure it merits a response but I will send one later."