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Tory MP and nurse speaks out against pay cap but fails to support vote to scrap it

A Conservative MP and cancer nurse who spoke out against the public sector pay cap during yesterday’s debate has defended voting against the Labour amendment to the Queen's Speech.
Scrap the cap demo

A Conservative MP and nurse who is in favour of lifting the public sector pay cap has defended voting against Labours proposal to scrap it.

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust nurse and MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield expressed her support for removing the 1% cap during a parliamentary debate yesterday (Wednesday, 28 June).

But hours later she voted with her party against an amendment to the Queens Speech calling on the cap to be lifted for the first time since 2012 and for cuts to emergency service budgets to be halted.

Labour-backed amendment defeated

A debate lasting six hours saw MPs of all sides praise nurses and talk up the possibility of scrapping the cap, but ultimately Conservative and

A Conservative MP and nurse who is in favour of lifting the public sector pay cap has defended voting against Labour’s proposal to scrap it.


A summer of protest is promised after government fails to support Labour's proposed amendment to scrap the cap. Picture: Barney Newman

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust nurse and MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield expressed her support for removing the 1% cap during a parliamentary debate yesterday (Wednesday, 28 June).

But hours later she voted with her party against an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling on the cap to be lifted – for the first time since 2012 – and for cuts to emergency service budgets to be halted.

Labour-backed amendment defeated  

A debate lasting six hours saw MPs of all sides praise nurses and talk up the possibility of scrapping the cap, but ultimately Conservative and DUP MPs voted against the amendment.

Ms Caulfield told Nursing Standard: ‘I spoke out against the continuation of the cap during the debate and, while the Queen’s speech is a signal of the future work of the government, the meaningful vote on this will be in the Budget in a few of months’ time – and I will be voting to remove the cap and ensure a pay rise happens.

‘In the meantime I am meeting with nursing leaders to make sure we get the best possible deal from the Treasury.’

Pay review rumoured for Autumn 

There have been rumblings among senior Conservatives and aides that public sector pay will be reviewed ahead of the Autumn Budget, however a spokesperson for the prime minister Theresa May yesterday said the policy remained unchanged.

Two other Conservative MPs from a nursing background – Anne Milton and Nadine Dorries – also voted against the amendment.

Labour nurse MPs Eleanor Smith and Karen Lee, who are new to the House of Commons, voted in favour of the amendment tabled by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

Summer of protest

The RCN has launched a ‘summer of protest’ against restricted pay rises and members have voted in favour of holding a ballot for industrial action.

A group of disgruntled nurses are expected to deliver a ‘magic money tree’ to the Department of Health next Wednesday.

This is in reference to Theresa May's remark during the general election campaign that there was not a ‘magic money tree’ available to pay for a public sector pay rise.


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