Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has used the Dundee Covid-19 outbreak to question the need for a new travel ban.
He accused the Scottish Government of being “discourteous” over the way the ban on travel between Scotland and Manchester was announced.
All non-essential travel is banned between Scotland and Manchester from today (June 21), with the SNP government pointing to coronavirus infection levels in the English region.
But Labour politician Mr Burnham accused Nicola Sturgeon of treating the north of England with “contempt” after bringing in the measure without consultation.
Nicola Sturgeon accused the Manchester mayor of “posturing”, with a row breaking out between the pair.
Speaking to Sky News on Monday afternoon, Mr Burnham pointed to Dundee’s Covid-19 rate compared to Bolton, which is part of the Manchester ban.
Dundee City currently has a Covid-19 rate per 100,000 people nearly three times the Scottish average.
Mr Burnham said the first minister should have a “grown-up conversation” with him about the need for a ban.
“I’m more than happy to talk but shouldn’t they have picked up the phone before they did this?” he said.
“I want to hear from her how this can be fair.
“For instance, Bolton has a significantly lower case rate than Dundee. Bolton’s under this travel ban [but] Dundee is not.
“I need an explanation from the Scottish Government what are the criteria being used to introduce these decisions and is there going to be any support for individuals affected?”
Mr Burnham added: “I think the government in Scotland owes it to people here to tell us what are the criteria.
“Why is a ban still in place when cases are lower in Bolton and how long will the ban be in place on Manchester and Salford?”
His comments were echoed by Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Ballie.
She suggested the decision to introduce a travel ban was “not consistent” when no such ban is in place for Dundee.
She added: “We know that if the guidelines lack logic then people tell us that compliance will be down.
“We can’t afford to have that at such a critical juncture.”
Nicola Sturgeon had accused Andy Burnham of political posturing, saying he was welcome to “pick up the phone” for a conversation on the issue.
But the first minister added: “But if, as I suspect maybe the case, this is more of a generating a spat with me as part of some positioning in a Labour leadership contest of the future, then I’m not interested.”