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Thousands of nurses answer RCN’s call to lobby MPs over pay

In less than 24 hours, thousands of members responded to the RCN appeal to rally support for a Labour Party amendment to scrap the pay cap
Charles Walker

An RCN appeal for members to lobby their MPs for a pay rise prompted thousands of responses in less than 24 hours.

On Tuesday last week, the RCN called on members to write to their local representatives to ask them to vote in favour of a Labour Party amendment to the Queens Speech to scrap the 1% pay cap. The vote was held the following evening.

Although the amendment failed, as Conservatives and DUP MPs voted against it , the RCN has welcomed the efforts of almost 5,000 nurses who sent letters and emails to MPs.

Strength of feeling

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: 'The number of letters sent by our members in just a few

An RCN appeal for members to lobby their MPs for a pay rise prompted thousands of responses in less than 24 hours.

On Tuesday last week, the RCN called on members to write to their local representatives to ask them to vote in favour of a Labour Party amendment to the Queen’s Speech to scrap the 1% pay cap. The vote was held the following evening.

Although the amendment failed, as Conservatives and DUP MPs voted against it, the RCN has welcomed the efforts of almost 5,000 nurses who sent letters and emails to MPs.


MP Charles Walker told a nurse he could not support any amendment by a Labour party led by a 'Marxist duo'. Picture: Shutterstock

Strength of feeling

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: 'The number of letters sent by our members in just a few hours shows the strength of feeling that has built up against pay restraint.

'Nurses want to do the best for their patients, and overworked members realise the 1% pay cap not only affects them personally, but prevents the NHS from recruiting and retaining the nurses it needs to provide safe care.'

Ms Davies added that figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council this week show more nurses are leaving the profession than joining it, which is not sustainable or safe.

'The pressure is mounting and the government must act – it’s time to scrap the cap,' she said.

MP criticised

One Conservative backbench MP drew widespread criticism on social media for his response to an unnamed nurse who wrote to him asking him to support the amendment to scrap the cap.

Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, had replied: 'I do hope that the public sector pay cap will be eased as it has been in place for a long time and restraint cannot go on indefinitely. Ministers are fully aware of my position on this issue.

'Despite the above, there is simply no chance of me, elected as a Conservative member of parliament, supporting any amendment tabled by the Labour Party while it is led by the Marxist duo of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Two people who have consistently sided with the enemies of our country and have total contempt for its institutions of governance and law.

'If the Labour Party wants to be taken seriously it needs to be led by serious people. People who have the gravitas and standing of past Labour giants such as Attlee, Bevan, Blair and Brown.'

Both Unison and the RCN refused to comment on the MP's letter.


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