Londoners wrapped up warm to brave the cold on the city’s first evening of tier two lockdown restrictions.
Pictures show groups of young revellers sitting in pub gardens and on streets, as people in the capital were banned from mixing households indoors on Saturday.
It comes after Soho descended into chaos on Friday when some drinkers ‘refused to go home’ on the last night of tier one rules.
Drinkers living under tier two in Manchester and Leeds also turned out in force last night as the threat of more severe restrictions loomed over both cities.
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Some bars put up signs calling Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham ‘King Of The North’ after northern leaders rejected plans to place the area into tier three until more financial support is offered.
Mr Burnham denied Number 10’s suggestion that talks had been arranged to end the row on Saturday.
He said no meetings had taken place since Thursday morning, adding that council leaders were ‘ready to meet at any time’.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove accused Mr Burnham of ‘political positioning’ and called for action ‘to save people’s lives’ this morning.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I want to reach an agreement with the political leadership in Greater Manchester.
‘I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they’ve indulged in and I want them to work with us in order to ensure that we save lives and protect the NHS.
‘Instead of press conferences and posturing what we need is action to save people’s lives.’
Meanwhile, Mr Burnham accused Boris Johnson of ‘exaggerating’ the situation in Greater Manchester as he was interviewed on Sunday morning.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘It’s a serious situation but I don’t think it was the situation that was described by the Prime Minister on Friday evening. I think it was an exaggeration of the position that we’re in.
‘Of course it’s a matter of concern, and we watch the figures very closely indeed, but the figures have been falling in Manchester itself in the last few days, across Greater Manchester up slightly but certainly not doubling every nine days.
‘So let’s be careful here. I would certainly say this morning let’s step back a bit from a war of words.’
He added that he would be having a call with the prime minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister on lockdown restrictions today.
Asked if he was going to be speaking with Mr Johnson, Mr Burnham responded: ‘I was due to speak to Sir Ed Lister today so that’s the call I was expecting to take later this morning but beyond that I’m ready to speak to ministers to try to resolve this situation.’
Leeds was placed in tier two when the Government revealed the new tier system last week – but local leaders have warned the city could soon be placed into tier three amid concerning infection rates.
They have also argued the area needs extra financial support from the Government in order to compensate local authorities and business owners affected by lockdown.
Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel said Leeds City Council was at ‘breaking point’, adding that tier three measures ‘appear not to go far enough to get the R number below one’.
New figures show half of England is now living under tighter restrictions.
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