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MP’s ‘utterly demoralising’ claim about nurses drinking in workplace

RCN and others show disbelief at Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant’s defence of ‘partygate’ scandal by claiming nurses have a drink in staff room after long shifts

RCN and others show disbelief at Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant’s defence of ‘partygate’ scandal by claiming nurses have a drink in staff room after long shifts

A Tory MP has been criticised for being ‘factually incorrect’ and ‘utterly demoralising’ after defending Boris Johnson over the ‘partygate’ scandal by claiming that nurses were drinking in staff rooms during the pandemic.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant told BBC News that the prime minister’s appearances at Downing Street parties could be compared with nurses and teachers going for ‘a quiet drink’ in the staff room after a long shift. The backbencher claimed he knew nurses who did this during lockdown and ‘didn’t blame them.’

RCN and others show disbelief at Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant’s defence of ‘partygate’ scandal by claiming nurses have a drink in staff room after long shifts

MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant. Picture: BBC

A Tory MP has been criticised for being ‘factually incorrect’ and ‘utterly demoralising’ after defending Boris Johnson over the ‘partygate’ scandal by claiming that nurses were drinking in staff rooms during the pandemic.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant told BBC News that the prime minister’s appearances at Downing Street parties could be compared with nurses and teachers going for ‘a quiet drink’ in the staff room after a long shift. The backbencher claimed he knew nurses who did this during lockdown and ‘didn’t blame them.’

RCN writes letter in response to MP’s claims

Following his comments, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen wrote to Mr Fabricant to rebuff his claims and correct him on behalf of the nursing workforce.

‘While you position yourself with some authority as to the behaviour and actions of nurses during the pandemic, I’d like to inform you of the following facts,’ she wrote.

‘Throughout the pandemic – and still certainly, now – most days, nurses and nursing support workers, when finally finishing a number of unpaid hours well past shift end, will get home, clean their uniforms, shower and collapse into bed.

‘These shifts – in communities, in hospitals, anywhere people are – are long, unrelenting, understaffed, and intense. At the end of one of the many hours, days and years we have worked, since recognition of the pandemic, I can assure you that none of us have sought to hang out and ‘have a quiet one in the staff room’.’

Alcohol claim is ‘factually incorrect’, says RCN

Ms Cullen added that ‘there isn’t a site in England’ that would allow alcohol onto the premises during working hours.

‘It is utterly demoralising – and factually incorrect – to hear you suggest that our diligent, safety critical profession can reasonably be compared to any elected official breaking the law, at any time.’

Ms Cullen also took to Twitter to comment on Mr Fabricant’s claim:

Others joined in the criticism on Twitter:

Prime minister and chancellor receive fines

Mr Fabricant, who urged Mr Johnson to apologise and make a statement in parliament on Tuesday, was talking to the BBC after it emerged both the prime minister and the chancellor Rishi Sunak were fined by police for breaking lockdown laws.

Both received fix penalty notices for attending a birthday gathering for the prime minister in Number 10 in June last year.

Mr Johnson, speaking to broadcasters at Chequers yesterday, said he ‘fully respects’ the outcome of the police investigation and that he accepted ‘in all sincerity that people had the right to expect better’ from him.


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