Keir Starmer Accused Boris Johnson Of “Slamming The Door” On Nurses As Labour Launches May Election Campaign
Keir Starmer criticised the government's record on the NHS (Alamy)
Keir Starmer has said “a vote for Labour is a vote to support our nurses” as he launched Labour’s May election campaign amid an ongoing row over NHS pay.
The party leader has previously criticised the government for pledging a below-inflation pay rise of 1% to NHS staff in the recent budget.
Starmer made the comments as he launched Labour's campaign for “Super Thursday” on 6 May, during which over 40 million people will be eligible to vote in the elections to be held across England, Wales and Scotland.
Seats are up for grabs across the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd, Greater London Assembly, 127 English councils, and 24 English county councils, as well as several elections for metro and regional mayors.
“My mum was a nurse. My sister was a nurse. My wife works for the NHS. I know what it means to work in the NHS,” he said.
“When I clapped for our carers, I meant it. The Prime Minister clapped for carers, then he slammed the door on them.”
“Every vote in this election is a chance to show the Conservatives that the British people value our NHS and our key workers so much more than this government does.”
Starmer also criticised the government over their record on social care, and said that voting for the Conservatives would lead to tax rises for families.
He referenced their record on NHS waiting lists, following fresh statistics published this morning revealing that 4.59 million people are waiting to start treatment in England, of whom 304,044 have been waiting more than a year.
The speech built on many of the attacks waged against Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, during which the two party leaders clashed over NHS pay.
“Their masks are slipping, and we’re seeing the real face of this Conservative Party: out of touch, and out of ideas,” Starmer continued.
“A party that gives a 40 per cent pay rise to Dominic Cummings, but a pay cut for our nurses. A party that gives billions to Serco, but nothing to our NHS.”
Yesterday, Downing Street repeatedly refused to accept that Johnson misled Parliament over Labour’s voting record despite his claims having to be “clarified” by the Speaker.