Rossendale had one of the highest coronavirus mortality rates in the country in May, new figures have revealed.

The borough had a mortality rate of 32.4 per 100,000 people - the 32nd highest in England and Wales.

Elsewhere, Preston was named as having the highest mortality rate in the country in May, with over 51 deaths per 100,000.

It comes amid suggestions of a North-South divide over the current stage of the virus and how much it is spreading.

The North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest mortality rates last month, while deaths in London and much of the South East began to decline.

The new data also reveals that there were 128.3 deaths per 100,000 people in the most deprived areas - 118% higher than the the least deprived parts of the country.

The figures are based on all deaths that occurred in March, April and May 2020 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, and which had been registered by 6 June.