Keir Starmer successfully skewered Boris Johnson in PMQs by asking: “Who does the Prime Minister believe deserves a pay rise more, NHS nurses or Dominic Cummings?”

In December 2020, it was revealed that Dominic Cummings had enjoyed a bumper pay rise earlier in the year, with his basic salary rising by approximately £45,000.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has hinted nurses could get a bigger pay rise than the 1 per cent currently on offer to NHS staff.

Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of clapping for carers last year before choosing to “shut the door in their face at the first opportunity” with the small proposed pay increase.  

The Labour leader said: “He could afford to give Dominic Cummings a 40 per cent pay rise, he could afford that, now he is asking NHS nurses to take a real-terms pay cut.

“How on Earth does he justify that?”

In response, Johnson said the government would “look at” what the independent pay review body has to say “exceptionally about the nursing profession”.

He said: “I believe that we all owe a massive debt to our nurses, indeed all our health care workers and our social care workers.”

Johnson also said that starting salaries for nurses have gone up by 12.8 per cent over the last three years and that the government has been successful in increasing numbers of nurses in the system.

The government has proposed giving some NHS staff in England a 1 per cent pay rise, despite an expectation from health bosses that it would be 2.1 per cent, with Johnson under pressure from Tory MPs as well regarding the pay offer.

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner said: “Who deserves a pay rise more, Dominic Cummings or NHS nurses? #PMQs

One person commented: “NHS nurses, of course. People who sacrifice their lives, not people who dawdle and do nothing.”

Someone else wrote angrily: “How ungrateful can you be? They saved his life for God’s sake.”

Labour MP for Wigan Lisa Nandy tweeted: “Who deserves a pay rise more, NHS nurses or Dominic Cummings? Well done @keir_starmer for challenging the Prime Minister on his utterly indefensible stance on NHS pay #PMQs

More: The true life of a student nurse during the Covid pandemic

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)