Tory minister's galaxy brain explanation for why nurses shouldn't get a pay rise is unbelievable

Nadhim Zahawi points at graph showing massive Labour poll lead and said …

A Tory minister has said striking nurses should drop their demands for a pay rise and the reason why is bonkers.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge, party chairman Nadhim Zahawi said striking made the UK seemed divided during Putin's war in Ukraine.

He said: “This is a time to come together and to send a very clear message to Mr Putin that we’re not going to be divided in this way,

“I think people need to remember that Putin is using energy as a weapon, because he’s failing so badly in his illegal war on Ukraine,” he added.

He warned that chasing higher pay would “embed inflation for longer and hurt the most vulnerable, adding: “Our message to the unions is to say, ‘this is not a time to strike, this is time to try and negotiate’.”

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He also said nurses were "chasing inflation", to which Ridge said it was more about "surviving".

The Royal College of Nursing is planning to strike on 15 and 20 December The government has offered a 3 per cent pay rise but nurses are going for between 5 and 11 per cent increases (depending on pay grades) to match soaring inflation.

Elsewhere during the interview, Zahawi said the government will consider using the army to take on striking worker's roles.

He was also presented with a graph showing Labour is soaring in the polls and bizarrely said it should make Starmer worry.

We've had better Sundays.

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