BLACKBURN MP Kate Hollern and four East Lancashire council leaders have signed a Labour letter calling for the Chancellor to set out plans for the county to exit the latest coronavirus lockdown.

They have told Rishi Sunak it is an 'outrage' that North-West workers were only offered two-thirds of their wages by the government when much of the region was put into severe 'tier three' Covid-19 restrictions shortly before the national change of mind.

The letter says: "“We cannot afford for any more time to be wasted or plans to be made and scrapped.

"The people of Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region deserve to know that their government has a strategy to see them through this crisis and prevent waves of unemployment only too familiar to some of our communities in the North West.

“We need to see concrete plans for what happens when this lockdown is lifted and we need to see them now."

It is signed by Mrs Hollern, Pendle borough leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, his Hyndburn counterpart Cllr Miles Parkinson, Blackburn with Darwen political boss Cllr Mohammed Khan, his Rossendale equivalent Cllr Alyson Barnes and Lancashire County opposition leader Cllr Azhar Ali who represent Nelson East.

Mrs Hollern said: "The Government’s attempt to short-change Blackburn has not gone unnoticed.

“The Chancellor must set out a plan for economic support for what will undoubtedly be a tough six months.”

A Treasury spokesman said: "The furlough scheme is UK-wide, and has been available throughout the period that parts of the North-West have been under tier three restrictions.”