Council bosses from across Lancashire have pledged their support for Greater Manchester after the government refused to provide extra funding for the region as it enters a Tier 3 lockdown.

Leaders of councils in Blackpool, Pendle, South Ribble, Preston, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley, Chorley and West Lancashire have signed an open letter calling on the Government to cover 80 per cent of the wages of employees who are unable to work during lockdowns, as it did with the original furlough scheme.

It has also been backed by the leader of Lancashire Labour Group and leaders from Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Merseyside.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that Tier 3 lockdown measures would be imposed on Greater Manchester from Friday (October 23) after talks between local leaders and government ministers broke down.

The region will join Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region on the highest level of lockdown restricitons.

However Greater Manchester is set to only get £22 million in funding as part of a “comprehensive package of support”. This compares to the £42m pledged to Lancashire council leaders last Thursday.

The MEN reports that Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham brought his request down from £90 million to £65 million to support businesses affected by a Tier 3 lockdown - but the government would only offer £60 million.

Now, dozens of leaders in the north have said they are 'standing alongside' the mayor.

A letter signed by more than 40 leaders reads: “As leaders in the north, we stand alongside the mayor and leaders in Greater Manchester.

"Greater Manchester asked for £90 million for 2.8 million people. At £32 per head of population, we are shocked that the government thought this too much money.

"The north is worth it."

It continued: “We call on MPs of all parties to support today’s motion in the House of Commons calling for the Job Retention Scheme to cover 80 per cent of incomes - to reject it would be unfair, unjust and wrong.”

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has called on Greater Manchester's council leaders to approach him directly to secure funding from the £60 million pot, which ministers have insisted is 'still on the table' despite the Prime Minister being unable to confirm how much additional funding the region would receive at his press conference last night.

Announcing Greater Manchester's move into Tier 3, Boris Johnson clarified that £22 million would be given to the region for contact tracing - but would not be drawn on the additional funds for businesses.

He then claimed that the £60 million originally offered would be handed out to Greater Manchester's ten boroughs at Prime Minister's Questions today.

Mr Burnham thanked the leaders who signed the letter for their support.

"What a wonderful letter - thanks so much everyone," he tweeted.

"Let’s hope our Northern MPs do the right thing today and back 80 per cent wages for people whose jobs are locked down."

The letter concluded: "We ask the government to stand with us rather than seeking to divide us, and provide the proper support we need to win this fight."