Attack on Government's NHS pay policy as Labour's Deputy Leader launches by-election campaign in Hartlepool

The Labour party’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner says the Government’s failure to give a pay rise to more than 7,000 local NHS staff is an “ultimate insult” during a visit to Hartlepool to kick off their by-election campaign.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 10:30 pm
Dr Paul Williams, Labour Party candidate for Hartlepool and Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Labour Party walk through town as they go to visit a covid vaccination centre at Hartlepool Town Hall (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Dr Paul Williams, Labour Party candidate for Hartlepool and Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Labour Party walk through town as they go to visit a covid vaccination centre at Hartlepool Town Hall (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The party’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has praised NHS staff for the work they have done during the pandemic and branded the government’s decision not to increase pay for over 7,600 local NHS staff the “ultimate insult” and a “kick in the teeth” as she visits Hartlepool with Labour’s by-election candidate Dr Paul Williams.

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Labour says the Conservatives’ real terms pay cut of £174 for a nurse and £312 for a health visitor comes on top of a £2,300 real terms cut in the average salary of a nurse and health visitor since 2010.

However the Conservatives say the Government is ‘committed to our NHS’ and Hartlepool has received £3 million to upgrade its hospital facilities in recent months.

Ms Rayner said: “Boris Johnson gave Dominic Cummings a 40% pay rise, but now he wants to cut the pay of our NHS heroes in Hartlepool and across the North East who have put their lives on the line to save others during this pandemic and are now working so hard to deliver the vaccine.

“After all they have done for us, this really is the ultimate insult and is a kick in the teeth for our hard-working NHS staff.

“The choice in Hartlepool is a clear choice between a Conservative candidate who wants to cut nurses’ pay, or Dr Paul Williams who has been working on the frontline at Hartlepool hospital and will stand up for our NHS heroes and our key workers.”

Dr Williams said: “Working on the frontline at our local hospital curing this crisis I have seen our NHS at its best. Throughout the last year, NHS staff have put their lives on the line to keep us safe, and now they are doing a great job rolling out the vaccine.

“But the Tories are not protecting our NHS and they are not protecting our NHS staff.

“The Tories closed our A&E a decade ago and now they are cutting the pay of thousands of our hard-working NHS heroes here in Hartlepool and across Teesside and the North East.

“As your MP I will fight for a proper pay rise for our NHS staff and fight for the services we need at our local hospital.”

Responding, Amanda Milling MP, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “As well as the biggest ever cash boost to the NHS, Hartlepool has received £3 million to upgrade its hospital facilities in recent months.

“This Conservative Government is committed to our NHS, levelling up towns left behind by Labour and making your streets safer.

“Only a Conservative MP will deliver for the people of Hartlepool.”

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