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He tells Sky News the “late-night ultimatum” was “a bit provocative” and accused ministers of “trying to penny pinch”.

Andy Burnham says he will keep to the law and “accept” Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions for Greater Manchester if the government imposes them.

The region’s mayor told Sky News it was ministers’ “prerogative” to announce the measures, if negotiations over the next few hours end in stalemate.

He and other local leaders have been given until midday today to reach an agreement on moving three million people into England’s highest band of coronavirus controls.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said last night there have been 10 days of talks in “good faith” but they are still in deadlock.

If there is no breakthrough, he suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson could impose measures unilaterally as COVID-19 spreads through Greater Manchester and public health “continues to deteriorate”.

Responding, Mr Burnham told the Kay Burley show: “We wouldn’t break the law… We would obviously have to accept that decision, in the end it’s the government’s prerogative.”