TRAFFORD has been released from the tighter coronavirus restrictions, it has been confirmed.

But the announcement has sparked a political row in the borough.

Council leader Cllr Andrew Western insisted he did not agree with the decision.

And he claimed the ruling ‘made a mockery of local decision making' as two Trafford MPs, Kate Green and Mike Kane were opposed to sanctions being lifted.

But Tory MP Sir Graham Brady, who was in favour of lifting restrictions, says the council failed to change his mind: “The council was asked to seek consensus with local MPs and group leaders. On Tuesday afternoon I was told Trafford wanted to seek a one-week extension.

"I said I was un-persuaded and asked for more data on hospital admissions and positive test rates. On Tuesday morning, before I was given the additional information, I received an e-mail saying the council was recommending a two-week extension and ‘noted’ I didn’t agree. Having failed to seek consensus it is odd for the council to object.”

Sir Graham understands the Department for Health offered Trafford Council a choice to either end restrictions in the wards with the lowest infection rates across the borough or end the restrictions for the whole borough collectively.

Sir Graham added: “The council chose the latter.”

Cllr Western said he had been advised there was a fresh spike in Trafford since the figures came out and added: “It is absolutely clear that government claims of partnership working with local authorities are nonsense and approach all about placating Tory MPs.

"No-one in government has explained decision to overrule us to me, or bothered to contact me at all. Disgraceful. There are three MPs in Trafford not one; although what is being let slip here is that only the Tory one was ever going to be listened to."

Bolton, Stockport, Burnley and Hyndburn also saw their restrictions relaxed, in an announcement by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

But Oldham residents have also been told to avoid mixing with anyone from another household anywhere. Cases per 100,000 there reached 67.1 during the week ending August 20. the second highest rate in England.

Mr Hancock said: "We brought in measures to protect people in these parts of Northern England, and I want to thank residents who have worked so hard to get on top of this virus.

"We’re seeing the positive results of our local approach, and are able to bring in increasingly targeted measures. It is vital we can maintain this good progress.

"I have every faith people across the county, especially in areas where we are seeing higher numbers of cases, will continue to play their part by following local rules, and self-isolating and requesting a free test as soon as they get any symptoms.”