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Nurse on TV's Question Time accuses government of breach of contract

A nurse in the audience at popular political TV programme tells Conservative MP Grant Shapps that the government is in breach of contract.

A nurse in the audience of the BBC's Question Time programme received rapturous applause after accusing the government of breach of contract.

The unidentified nurse's comments were part of a debate on whether MPs should be allowed to have second jobs.

Addressing Conservative MP Grant Shapps, who was on the programme's panel, she said: 'I voted Conservative and I am absolutely disgusted with myself. I put you guys in a job and I, as a nurse, am having to fight for a 1 per cent pay rise. I am facing my unsocial hours pay being scrapped and I have lost all my increments that we signed a contract for. As far as I am concerned you are in breach of contract.

'How on earth you can justify your 10 per cent pay rise, let alone other jobs, I just don't know. You are paid far too much for what you are doing.'

Her comments were met with rousing applause from the audience in Telford last night.

Mr Shapps acknowledged there would be 'a lot of sympathy' for her comments but said: 'You cannot have a strong NHS unless you build a strong economy in the first place. We put £12.7 billion more into the NHS – a real increase – while having to make cuts in other areas, and as a result we have managed to hire thousands more doctors and nurses.'

He added that it was a 'complete and utter myth' that MPs had received a 10 per cent pay rise.

Last night's edition of Question Time, which was chaired by David Dimbleby, comes at a time when unions are consulting on whether to accept a 1 per cent pay offer made by the government last month.

The Royal College of Midwives, whose members went on strike at the end of last year, revealed this week that more than 90 per cent of its members had voted in favour of the offer, ending a long-running dispute with the government.

Unite, Unison and the RCN are due to announce the results of their consultations shortly.

Question Time revealed the nurse's comments generated the highest number of retweets on its Twitter account following the programme.

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