The mayor of Manchester, Labour's Andy Burnham, has been celebrated in meme form and compared to Game of Thrones hero Jon Snow following his blistering speech against the government on Tuesday evening.
In an emotional speech, Burnham blasted Boris Johnson and the Tories for "playing poker with people's lives" following reports that Manchester might be offered just £22m after it was placed into a stricter tier 3 coronavirus lockdown which would close down pubs, restaurants and other businesses. This came after talks between leaders in the Greater Manchester area and the government broke down.
According to The Mirror, local leaders in the area had reportedly reduced their request to the prime minister to £65m on Tuesday after a fully-costed plan of £90m for the upcoming winter had been rejected by ministers. Burnham has said that £65m is the minimum they are willing to accept in order to "prevent poverty, to prevent hardship, to prevent homelessness" in the city.
Johnson did not confirm if an offer of £60m had been made, which was still below the figure they had asked for but health secretary, Matt Hancock said that the offer was still on the table.
An emotional but clear Burnham ripped into the Tories for their approach to the negotiations, saying:
Is that how they’re running this country? Is this a government committed to levelling up this country? What we've seen today is a deliberate act of levelling down.
Burnham's rousing speech soon went viral on social media with many comparing the 50-year-old to Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, who is dubbed 'The King of North' or 'King in the North' in the incredibly popular television show.
Andy Burnham. Makes me proud to be a Northerner #KingOfTheNorth https://t.co/CmZ9tUvVx6