Bolton Council's leader has said the town's hospitality sector was "thrown to the lions" by the government's restrictions.

Speaking to BBC News, Bolton Council leader, David Greenhalgh, said the strict measures imposed on the town, closing pubs and restaurants for takeaway only, were "breeding resentment".

The restrictions were originally brought in earlier this month when Bolton was experiencing the highest rate of coronavirus infections in the country.

However, Cllr Greenhalgh pointed out that since then other places have experienced higher infection rates but had not seen the same measures imposed.

He said: "I still think there’s an element of Government, because the restrictions are so complex, that doesn’t understand the huge disparities there are up and down the country."

He added that people in the town felt "forgotten" and that businesses were on the "brink of bankruptcy".

He added: "These are people who have put their life savings into business ventures that are successful but are just not now being allowed to operate, and the Government, I plead with them, they now need to recognise this huge disparity, this inequality, which is unacceptable."

Cllr Greenhalgh said that residents were continuing to visit pubs which remain open in surrounding areas, and that the measures had not stopped the spread of Covid-19.

Bolton recorded 595 new cases in the seven days to September 26, the equivalent of 206.9 cases per 100,000 people, down from 221.9 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 19.

Boris Johnson dismissed criticisms about restrictions in the borough being ‘too complicated’ at today's Prime Minister's Questions. 

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer quoted Bolton council leader David Greenhalgh in the House of Commons.

He said: “There are major problems and widespread confusion about local restrictions and it’s not just the Prime Minister not knowing his own rules. Let me quote to him the Conservative leader of Bolton Council.

"He said this about the Government’s handling of restrictions, ‘it’s breeding resentment, it’s becoming too complex, too complicated, people feel very let down, very frustrated and very forgotten’.

“If the Prime Minister doesn’t understand the rules and his own Tory council leaders are complaining about mixed messaging how does he expect the rest of the country to understand  and follow the rules?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Nobody wants to impose restrictions of this kind we work closely with local authorities for the right mix to adopt.

“With the virus going up you have to take strong local action does appear the illness this time is more localised.

“These direct restrictions are in addition to the strong national measures whose affect we hope to see soon.

"The people of this country do understand and do follow the rules in spite of the effort of the leader of the opposition to snipe from the sidelines and undermine what we are trying to do."

“I think people do understand and I think people want us to defeat this virus and they want to see us doing it together.

“He should show some support. Let him try and instil some confidence in the British people on these measures which he supports.”