Start Your Blog in 5 Minutes.
Conservative MPs across the West of England have hailed the NHS as heroes during the coronavirus pandemic – but when they had the chance to give nurses a pay rise, they blocked it.
Tory and DUP MPs defeated a Labour amendment to the 2017 Queen’s Speech calling on the Government to “end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise”.
The issue came to a head on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.
Care Minister Helen Whately refused to confirm if she was among the 323 MPs who voted down the amendment in an exchange with host Piers Morgan that went viral.
Looking at voting records, the West of England’s six Conservative MPs were all among that cohort:
North Somerset Dr Liam Fox, a former GP who tweeted “#NHSThankyou” after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital after being treated for Covid-19.
North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who put out a tweet calling for NHS volunteer responders, writing: “Your country needs you”.
Luke Hall, who represents Thornbury and Yate, and tweeted: “We are committed to ensuring that all hospitals, councils and adult social care providers will be supported through the COVID-19 outbreak”
Kingswood’s Chris Skidmore, who On World Health Day retweeted a message of thanks to “all of our amazing nurses, midwives, doctors, and researchers involved in the fight against #Covid19 ”.
Jack Lopresti, the Filton and Bradley Stoke, who this week tweeted a photo of himself collecting PPE from the Bristol Royal Infirmary to take to a care home.
John Penrose MP Weston-super-Mare, who welcomed the debt being cleared for Weston Area Health Trust.
When asked if they stood by their vote and if they thought nurses deserved a pay rise, none of the MPs responded.
Yet in recent weeks some of them have been on social media hailing the work of NHS staff.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also voted against the pay rise.
After being treated for Covid-19, he said: “It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.”
He described the health service as “this country’s greatest national asset”.
The region’s Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs all voted in favour of the amendment.