A BOLTON MP resigned from his parliamentary role over the way coronavirus restrictions have been forced upon the borough.

Earlier this evening, Chris Green, the MP for Bolton West and Atherton, publicly resigned from his role as parliamentary private secretary for the Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal.

He quit the post after the latest lockdown system was introduced, saying the restrictions in Bolton had "clearly not worked", and that he believed the "cure is worse than the disease".

Mr Green, who has previously advocated against additional measures, disagrees with the way the situation is being handled, and wants to make that clear to those in charge.

He said: "From the beginning of this process I've just been thinking that this isn't right, and then as it's gone on and Greater Manchester went into local lockdown, and then as Bolton got extra restrictions, that feeling just grew and grew.

"One of the things that's really important is looking at things as a whole, it's not just covid that's a danger factor.

"Bolton has seen 20,000 fewer GP referrals to hospital during lockdown, with things like cancer treatments and hip replacements not going ahead.

"It's not just the live saving treatments, but ones that make such a difference to people's lives.

"For the first six months you can say that you understand the difficult decisions, as there's no evidence or alternative solutions, but it seems as though we're back to square one."

Mr Green previously held a similar position for the Department for Transport, before tendering his resignation to then Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2018.

He quit the role shortly after David Davies and Boris Johnson quit theirs over May's Brexit deal, and believes that adding his voice to the fray was the right thing to do.

The PPS role is given to MPs by senior ministers or shadow ministers to act as that person's contact with MPs. 

Although it is an unpaid role, PPSs can be a vital tool, helping the government to track backbench opinion in Parliament. 

Mr Green added: "This time I'm the first to resign, admittedly from a very junior position and I don't expect others to follow.

"But the difference between the Brexit decision and this is that the country had already made a decision, with covid that view hasn't been made yet and I think the country will then conclude that we should be going in a different direction.

"Bolton has been in the harshest restrictions in the whole of England and by the government measures of success it's been a clear failure which is why the government has looked at putting more of the country in harsher lockdown.

"I don't think the experience in Bolton justifies repeating that in the borough, or anywhere else."

Mr Green will retain his position as a Conservative representative for the area.

Elsewhere, Tory councillor David Greenhalgh continued to clash with the government, as he pushed for Bolton to avoid stricter measures.

Speaking after the decision, Cllr Greenhalgh said: "My position remains the same in that I am opposing Tier 3 for Bolton.

"Greater Manchester leaders have not met with government officials since our briefing on Friday, and we have since submitted proposals which support our position against Tier 3, proposing Tier 2 for the area.

"We are more than willing to speak officially with the government, but as yet have had no times or dates offered up.

"We have been available all weekend, and no doubt will make ourselves available when the call comes."