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Unions slam Sunak for false claims over health staff pay

RISHI SUNAK came under blistering attack today after falsely claiming that nurses had “reached a resolution” on their pay dispute.

The Prime Minster made his false claim on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, forgetting that a 5 per cent pay rise was forced on them last year.

Nurses’ union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) exposed the falsehood and reminded Mr Sunak that he “never reached a pay resolution with nursing staff in the NHS — our members rejected his pay offer and we remain in dispute.”

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen accused the PM of “forgetting basic facts.”

She said: “The government needs to get its act together — it must offer nursing staff a far better pay offer this year.

“Just this week, nursing staff in Northern Ireland announced they will be taking to picket lines over pay.”

She also slammed the government for further false claims that strike action by health staff was the cause of record waiting lists of 7.8 million.

“Rishi Sunak’s claims about waiting lists increasing because of industrial action have been debunked, but the fact remains they have risen on his watch," Ms Cullen said.

“With over 70 per cent of the public backing strike action by nursing staff because of staffing levels, it’s clear the public supports nurses continuing to fight — for our NHS, and our patients." 

Mr Sunak also spoke about the current strike action over pay by junior hospital doctors, whose current six-day strike is the longest in NHS history.

He falsely claimed: “The government has now reached resolution with every other part of the NHS — nurses, midwives, paramedics, consultant doctors, speciality doctors most recently.”

A statement from the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents junior doctors, said: “The PM says consultants and SAS doctors have settled their pay disputes. This is incorrect.

“We’ve put the government’s offer to our members and they’ll now decide.

“We’re deeply disappointed the government hasn’t made a credible offer we can also put to junior doctors.”

Junior doctors from the British Medical Association walked out on January 3 and are expected to continue to strike until 7am on Tuesday.

There are more than 40,000 nurse vacancies in the NHS.

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