Minister defending ‘insulting’ NHS pay rise confronted with footage of Tories clapping for carers

Minister defending ‘insulting’ NHS pay rise confronted with footage of Tories clapping for carers

A government minister has been confronted with footage of Tories clapping for carers, after the proposed one per cent NHS pay rise was described as “insulting” to health workers this week.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, education secretary Gavin Williamson was asked whether he thought that the public would agree with the Royal College of Nursing that the proposed pay increase was “frankly an insult” following the displays of support shown for the NHS last year – in which Williamson said he and “the whole nation” had taken part.

Unsurprisingly, the minister dodged the question of whether NHS staff deserved a greater pay rise…

“Well Andrew, what we have done is we’ve set out one of the largest investment proposals for the NHS that we’ve seen in a generation,” Williamson replied.

You can find the interview clip below:

Earlier this week, Royal College of Nursing chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair described the proposal as “pitiful and bitterly disappointing”, adding that the government was “dangerously out of touch with nursing staff, NHS workers and the public”.

“Taxpayers are supportive of a significant and fair pay rise for NHS workers – this year of all years,” she said.

It came after Williamson was questioned on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday about his -43 approval rating among Tory Party members, according to a poll by Conservative Home.

“I’m just looking at the latest Cabinet approval ratings as voted for by Conservative Party members,” Sophy Ridge told the minister.

“Now they’re a pretty generous lot … Liz Truss is on +86, Rishi Sunak on +74, Priti Patel – who broke the ministerial code – is on +50, but there’s only two people in minus territory...

“There’s Amanda Milling on -4.5 and then there’s you on -43.6 … it’s not great, is it?”

You can find Williamson’s response to the figures below:

All in all, some felt it wasn’t a particularly successful media round for the education secretary...

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