Northerners dub Andy Burnham the new 'King of the North'

‘It’s like an episode of Game of Thrones!’ Northerners dub Andy Burnham the new ‘King of the North’ in flood of social media memes as he demands more cash before Tier 3 lockdown

  • Northerners have crowned Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham ‘King of the North’
  • Title refers to George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novels and TV series 
  • Manchester Mayor said the North was being treated like a ‘sacrificial lamb’ and a ‘canary in the coalmine’ with experimental restrictions 

Northerners are today crowning Andy Burnham the ‘King of the North’ after the Manchester Mayor challenged the Government’s coronavirus clampdown across England.

Boris Johnson is today preparing to force Greater Manchester into a Tier Three lockdown despite a furious rebellion from local leaders and Tory ‘Red Wall’ MPs.

Ministers have warned that the Government will not be ‘held over a barrel’ by Mr Burnham, who has voiced opposition to the harshest level of curbs alongside a host of senior Conservatives.

In a vicious attack last night, the Manchester Mayor said the North was being treated like a ‘sacrificial lamb’ and a ‘canary in the coalmine’ with experimental restrictions, claiming that if London was in the same position there would be a nationwide clampdown.

However, there is mounting speculation the PM will put Greater Manchester on the Tier Three list regardless of Mr Burnham’s stance.

A Tier Three lockdown would see all bars and pubs who do not serve meals shut, as well as a ban on household mixing indoors and in gardens.

Reacting to the Mayor’s intervention last night, Northerners flocked to Twitter where they instantly started sharing memes depicting Mr Burnham as the ‘King of the North’.

The title refers to George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novels, made globally famous by HBO’s eight-season television adaptation which starred Emilia Clarke, Sean Bean and Kit Harrington.

Two memes shows Mr Burnham’s head photoshopped onto the body of Kit Harrington, who played northern Lord Commander of the Watch Jon Snow in the series

Two memes shows Mr Burnham’s head photoshopped onto the body of Kit Harrington, who played northern Lord Commander of the Watch Jon Snow in the series 

One social media user shared a GIF showing actor Sean Bean in the series Game of Thrones 

Others depict scenes from the HBO show which involve central characters being announced as ‘King of the North’ or ‘King in the North’

Others depict scenes from the HBO show which involve central characters being announced as ‘King of the North’ or ‘King in the North’

Others depict scenes from the HBO show which involve central characters being announced as ‘King of the North’ or ‘King in the North’

In one tweet, a social media user posted a three-second clip of Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, asking: ‘What about the North?’

The title refers to George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novels, made globally famous by HBO’s eight-season television adaptation which starred Emilia Clarke, Sean Bean and Kit Harrington

The title refers to George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novels, made globally famous by HBO’s eight-season television adaptation which starred Emilia Clarke, Sean Bean and Kit Harrington 

Others depict scenes from the HBO show which involve central characters being announced as ‘King of the North’ or ‘King in the North’


Boris Johnson (left out running today) is preparing to put Greater Manchester on the Government’s Tier Three list with or without Andy Burnham’s go-ahead

Two memes shows Mr Burnham’s head photoshopped onto the body of Harrington, who played northern Lord Commander of the Watch Jon Snow in the series. 

Others depict scenes from the HBO show which involve central characters being announced as ‘King of the North’ or ‘King in the North’.

In one tweet, a social media user posted a three-second clip of Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, asking: ‘What about the North?’

Backlash at Sadiq Khan over Tier Two lockdown 

Furious hospitality chiefs today blasted Sadiq Khan for ‘cursing’ London as they warned that plunging the UK capital into Tier Two lockdown will cause ‘catastrophic business closures and widespread job losses’.

London is braced for tighter controls from midnight tomorrow after a deal was done with Mr Khan, who is demanding yet more money from the Government and calling for a national ‘circuit breaker’.

Residents will be banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in bars and other venues, while socialising outdoors — including pub and private gardens — will still be allowed under the Rule of Six.

Offices and public transport can remain open, although the Government’s general advice to work from home where possible remains in place.

Today angry hospitality bosses, including restaurateurs, hoteliers and Britain’s biggest pub trade association, all lined up to warn City Hall that further coronavirus restrictions would lead to economic devastation.

It has now emerged that UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls warned the London Mayor that more draconian action would lead to ‘mass job losses’, as much as 250,000 in the capital alone, on Wednesday — a full day before London was moved into Tier Two.

Her letter to Mr Khan added that ‘we have moved into a new phase of financial peril for our businesses, their employees, the capital’s tourism offer, and the social and cultural prospects for Londoners’.

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted the Government would rather vote with local leaders ‘if possible’.

But he accused Mr Burnham of trying to ‘hold the Government over a barrel’ by resisting tougher coronavirus restrictions.

‘Ultimately we need to take action – we can’t have a situation as we have seen in Manchester where Andy Burnham is effectively trying to hold the Government over a barrel over money and politics when actually we need to take action,’ he told BBC Breakfast.

‘The cases there are 470 per 100,000 so it is very serious, and we must take action in the interest of the people of Manchester and the wider area, and if we take those targeted actions in those areas most affected… we get through this and we avoid the national level lockdown.’

Mr Raab urged Mr Burnham to ‘do the right thing by the people of Manchester’.

Responding to Mr Raab on twitter today, Mr Burnham said: ‘It’s not about what we want for ourselves, @DominicRaab. It’s about what we want for low-paid and self-employed people everywhere: fairness.’

In a worrying sign for the Government, northern Tory MPs have lined up with Mr Burnham to condemn the plan for curbs.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the influential Tory backbench 1922 Committee and MP for Altrincham and Sale West, said: ‘The case has not been made for Greater Manchester to move into a Tier Three lockdown.’

Fellow Tory William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove in Manchester, said health ministers had ‘achieved the impossible’ by uniting local politicians of all parties against the Government’s plans.

Jake Berry, former minister for the Northern Powerhouse, and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, said many people in the region already ‘don’t know or understand what the rules are’ because they are on the ‘twentieth set of rules’.

Mr Berry pointed out that following last year’s election triumph, the Tories now have 80 Northern MPs, adding: ‘They are the Prime Minister’s majority and, bluntly, he needs to look after us.’

The backlash was fueled by a ‘sh**show’ conference call between health minister Helen Whately and Greater Manchester MPs yesterday, while talks between the PM’s senior aide Sir Eddie LIster and councillors went little better.

Ms Whately and Sir Edward couldn’t answer how furloughed staff in the hospitality sector — those worst-hit by Tier Three — could access their benefits. They were also apparently unable to show MPs and leaders scientific evidence about Covid-19’s transmission.

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