Andy Burnham rages at 'hypocrite' Nicola Sturgeon over travel ban

Andy Burnham rages at ‘hypocrite’ Nicola Sturgeon and demands compensation for holidaymakers and businesses after she bans travel from Manchester – but lets thousands of Scots football fans go to Wembley

  • Andy Burnham raged at Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘double standards’ on Covid travel ban
  • Manchester mayor said condemned her restrictions on parts of the North West
  • Thousands of Scottish fans ignored social distancing after travelling to Wembley

Andy Burnham today raged at Nicola Sturgeon for banning travel from Manchester to Scotland without any consultation – but allowing thousands of Scotland football fans to go to Wembley.

The Greater Manchester mayor branded the SNP leader a ‘hypocrite’ and demanded compensation for holidaymakers and businesses affected by her coronavirus travel restrictions.

And he said the extraordinary scenes with crowds of Scots supporters failing to socially distance in London on Friday night showed her ‘double standards’.

The brutal condemnation came as Mr Burham said there were ‘encouraging’ signs that the North West might be past the peak of the outbreak triggered by the Indian – or Delta – variant.


Andy Burnham (left) today raged at Nicola Sturgeon (right) for banning travel from Manchester to Scotland without any consultation – but allowing thousands of Scotland football fans to go to Wembley

Mr Burnham said the extraordinary scenes with crowds of Scots supporters failing to socially distance in London on Friday night (pictured) showed ‘double standards’

Mr Burnham said he was ‘really disappointed’ that Mrs Sturgeon had announced the restrictions on travel with Manchester and Salford on Friday ‘out of the blue’, on top of the existing curbs affecting Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen. 

Asked about the scenes of fans ‘dancing’ in London je said: ‘I just think it is double standards, it is simple as that,’ he said. ‘It is hypocrisy.

‘I will be writing to the First Minister today. I will be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might lose bookings.

Why should a couple from Salford who are double jabbed who are about to go on a walking holiday in Scotland not be able to go?

‘It is completely disproportionate in my view.

‘We could have come up with a different arrangement if the First Minister had been in touch with us.’

He added: ‘The Scottish government cannot just impose things on parts of the North of England without any discussion with us. That is simply wrong.

‘They need to live by the same standards that they have always called for from others.’  

Ms Sturgeon only urged travelling Scotland fans to ‘please, please, please try to behave in a way that is a safe as possible’ before the match on Friday night. 

But Leicester Square was packed with supporters jubilantly singing, chanting and letting off flares ahead of the game.

Pictures captured Leicester Square packed with Scotland fans jubilantly singing, chanting and letting off flares after the England v Scotland game ended in a 0-0 draw last night

Before the end of the match, police cleared fans out of the area and tried to seal off the five entrances, with the William Shakespeare statue having been scaled repeatedly. 

Mr Burnham was asked if the North West might be ‘past the peak’ of the Delta variant.

He said: ‘I certainly see a huge amount of work going on in our communities to contain the Delta variant.

‘Look at Bolton – you can see real encouragement there. Where the work went in, the case numbers have been turned around and they’ve got now quite a significant decrease.

‘I’m very sure that we’ll see the same in the rest of Greater Manchester.

‘So, I think we are coming through this. I think we now need to be careful and proportionate in terms of the way we manage things going forward.’

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