‘Comrade’ Rebecca Long-Bailey under fire over support of NHS strike in middle of pandemic

Rebecca Long-Bailey says she will 'support' NHS staff strikes

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The former Shadow Treasury Secretary branded the one person NHS as “absolutely disgusting” as she said she would support industrial action. Ms Long-Bailey told ITV’s Peston: “Of course I would. I think what’s happened is absolutely disgusting.

“These are the nurses and also care workers who kept our NHS going, put their own lives at risk, some of them having to wear bin liners because they didn’t have sufficient PPE.

“And this is how they’re thanked. Now I’ve met nurses in the North West, they’re exhausted, some have felt suicidal and many are on the verge of leaving the profession entirely.

“The one percent wasn’t enough and it actually amounts to a pay cut after inflation.

“So I’d say to the government – tell the world what kind of country we are, let them know we value kindness, compassion and hard work – that’s what the people of the country believe in, so give these staff the pay rise they deserve.”

Viewers furiously reacted to Ms Long-Bailey’s comments on Twitter.

One wrote: “Let’s hope it’s not when Comrade Rebecca or her family in hospital when the nurses walk out.”

Another added: “Every year everyone in the NHS gets a rise due to long service so 1 percent is closer to 2.5 percent. It was in the Sunday Times.

“Oh let them go on strike no one can get anything done on the NHS anyway due to COVID so I don’t think anyone would notice.”

One simply added: “Typical lefty.”

NHS pay rise: 1% ‘on basis of affordability’ says Matt Hancock

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer will target the Government’s controversial ne percent pay rise for NHS workers during the campaign for the May elections, declaring “a vote for Labour is a vote to support our nurses”.

The Labour leader is to launch the party’s campaign for the local and mayoral elections by demanding key workers are given “a proper pay rise” at a virtual event on Thursday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to recommend the low increase for health workers in England, despite their year-long toil during the coronavirus pandemic, has been widely criticised.

Mr Starmer, who has been seen to be struggling to overturn the Tories’ popularity after taking over the Labour leadership, will hope focusing on nurses’ pay will provide his campaign with much-needed momentum as he tries to centre the elections on Britain’s recovery.


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He will stress “this is a different Labour Party, under new leadership” in attempting to highlight the distance between himself and Jeremy Corbyn, who led the party to a dismal general election defeat in 2019.

Mr Starmer is anticipated to tell the virtual launch alongside candidates and leaders from across the UK that the party’s priorities are “securing the economy, protecting the NHS, rebuilding Britain”.

“So, if you want to support our nurses, to rebuild social care and to reward our key workers, then vote Labour. My mum was a nurse, my sister was a nurse, my wife works for the NHS,” he is expected to add.

“I know how tough this year has been for our NHS and I know that now, more than ever, is the time to give our key workers a proper pay rise.

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