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Nurses Want To "Meet Halfway" On Pay, MPs Urged To Stay Out Of Prince Harry Revelations

Nurses on strike in December 2022 (Alamy)

4 min read

The head of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has asked Health Secretary Steve Barclay to “meet me halfway” on a nurses pay deal in order to end strikes, with industrial action in the NHS set to continue later this month.

Pat Cullen, the RCN union’s general secretary, told Times Radio that nurses “understand the economic climate” the country is in and are willing to compromise on their initial pay bid if the government agrees to enter negotiations. 

The union had been asking for a pay rise of 19 per cent to account for inflationary pressures and drops in real terms pay, but the Times reported they could compromise at 10 per cent.

“I could sit here all day and tell you nurses’ pay has dropped by 20 per cent over the last decade. Do I believe those nurses are entitled [to 19 per cent]? Absolutely, I believe they’re entitled to 19 per cent. But we also understand the economic climate that we’re working in," Cullen told the paper's Past Imperfect podcast.

“And what I would say to Steve Barclay and to the Prime Minister is get into a room and meet me halfway here and do the decent thing for these nurses.”

The RCN is next due to strike in parts of England on 18 and 19 January. 

Shadow minister advises MPs to “not say too much" about royal revelations

Prince Harry photo
Prince Harry's memoir Spare will be published in the UK on 10 January (Alamy)

A Labour frontbencher has said it is the “best course of action” for MPs to “not say too much" about the revelations in Prince Harry’s upcoming memoir, Spare, and the Royal Family.

The press has reported a number of details from the book, which will be published on 10 January in the UK after excerpts were leaked to The Guardian, and copies were accidentally released early in Spain. 

Allegations made in the book include that Prince William physically attacked Prince Harry in an argument sparked by comments about the Duke of Sussex's wife Meghan Markle. Prince Harry also admits to using cocaine when he was Eton, that he killed 25 Taliban fights as a soldier in Afghanistan, and that he lost his virginity to a horse-loving older woman in a field behind a pub as a teenager. 

The brothers also refer to each other as "Willy" and "Harold", it transpires. 

Harry's mother, Princess Diana, also features heavily in the book. The prince reveals that he has recently received messages from the spirit of his mother, indicating that he is now living the life she wanted for him.

Shadow chief secretary to the treasury Pat McFadden was asked on Sky News this morning whether he had “any concerns about some of the revelations” that have emerged since parts of the book, Spare, leaked ahead of the scheduled publication next week. 

"My advice to politicians like me and others is while we're seeing all this play out, it's probably not very wise for us to say very much about it,” McFadden said. 

“I hope that in time this manages to get patched up within the royal family. But I think it's probably the best course of action for MPs not to say too much about it right now.” 

Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham and former minister Tim Loughton told Prince Harry to “just shut the fuck up” on Wednesday in response to a trailer for the royal’s CBS interview.

Loughton told the Evening Standard: “Just getting tired of his constant grandstanding now presumably to sell his miserable book and get another Netflix contract.”

Boris Johnson “nudged” to wear a mask by government scientists

Boris Johnson wearing a face mask
Boris Johnson allegedly had to be convinced to wear a mask while he was in Number 10 (Alamy)

Former prime minister Boris Johnson was “nudged” by government scientists to wear a mask during the Covid pandemic, one of them has revealed.

Professor David Halpern, a behavioural scientist and CEO of the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team described in an interview published in the Telegraph how Johnson was convinced to wear a mask at the time Johnson was in No 10.

He explained: “We did share with him a slide pack at one point. It had a series of images of pretty much every single world leader wearing a mask, and then a picture with him not,” he recalls.

This nudge was used to point out that “a normal thing for a world leader to do right now is wear a mask”.

In November 2021, Johnson was asked to put on his mask three times when visiting a hospital in Northumberland. 

Responding to criticism at the time, he said: “I wear a mask wherever the rules say I should.”

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