CONSERVATIVE MP Chris Green has criticised 20 of his colleagues over a "very ill judged" letter targeting mayor Andy Burnham as he resists a lockdown for Greater Manchester.

The Labour mayor and Tory politicians are opposing Tier 3 restrictions for the region without greater financial support for workers and business.

He has also joined Sir Keir Starmer in favouring a short national lockdown, arguing it would be fairer and would get his constituents' greater support.

But 20 Tory MPs, whose constituents are currently under the lowest level of restrictions, wrote an open letter to Mr Burnham and the Labour leader urging them to get the virus "under control" in Manchester to avoid the "pain" of a national lockdown.

Led by Jerome Mayhew, the MP for Broadland in Norfolk, they said: "We know you are calling for a national lockdown now but urge you to reconsider."

They highlighted coronavirus rates that show some of their areas having rates far lower than Manchester's.

"Given this disparity, it does not make sense to shut down the whole country when the virus is spiking in particular locations," the MPs continued.

"It is very clear to us - and the people we represent - that the local and regional approach is the right response to the current situation.

"We urge you to work with the Government to get the virus under control in Greater Manchester, so we can all avoid the pain of another national lockdown."

Bolton West MP Chris Green criticised what he described as a "No 10 approved communication.

Mr Green wrote on social media: "I have never thought that the affairs of Norfolk should be determined by what may be of benefit to parts of Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Science matters but this No.10 approved communication does not."

Senior Conservative William Wragg, whose Hazel Grove constituency is in Greater Manchester, recommended his colleagues "concern themselves with their own constituencies".

"I would not wish tighter restrictions on their constituents," he said.

"We're willing to work constructively to improve the situation in Greater Manchester & would ask for the short time and space to do so."

Christian Wakeford, the Tory MP for nearby Bury South, said politicians in the region were "united in opposing Tier 3 in its current form" in order to get the "best solution" for residents.

"Interventions from fellow members who don't understand the situation are neither wanted nor helpful," he added.

Jackie Doyle-Price, who's Essex constituency of Thurrock remains at the lowest level of restrictions, was also critical of the "badly done" letter.

"There is much collaboration across Greater Manchester to seek a workable solution," she said.

"It is very ill judged to seek to make this issue partisan."

Other signatures of the letter included Ashford MP Damian Green, Yeovil's Marcus Fysh and North Cornwall's Scott Mann.

Their letter echoed the words of Prime Minister Boris Johnson early this week as he continued to resist imposing a short national "circuit-breaker" lockdown, a measure suggested by the Government's scientific advisers.

"Closing businesses in Cornwall, where transmission is low, will not cut transmission in Manchester," he said in a Downing Street press conference.