Conservative MP must apologis​e to health staff over Covid law break slur, says UNISON

Letter to Michael Fabricant says his comments are ‘insulting’ and have ’caused deep hurt’

​A Conservative MP who suggested health staff regularly broke Covid rules should retract his comments and apologise, ​says UNISON today (Thursday).

Michael Fabricant has repeated the remarks on social media which he made in an attempt to defend lockdown law breaking by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

In a letter to the MP for Litchfield, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton has admonished him​ for insulting health staff who helped get the nation through Covid.

​The letter says that nurses and other NHS workers would not have behaved as Cabinet members did by socialising or drinking at the end of their shifts, as the MP claimed.

It adds that ‘deep hurt’ has been caused to the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers across the UK that UNISON represents.

The letter says: “We are enormously proud of the contribution they made to saving lives and protecting the public during the extremely challenging last few years.

“For you to imply ​that they regularly overlooked public health restrictions, in an attempt to defend ​the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, is insulting and has caused deep hurt.”

The letter dr​aws attention to the extreme lengths staff took to protect health and follow the law, while the country’s top politicians partied.

Some health workers took the extraordinary step of moving out of their homes and ​leaving their families, so they could continue to provide care during the pandemic​, says UNISON. Others moved into care homes and residential facilities, to cut the risk of carrying the virus to the vulnerable people they cared for.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “​Several members of the Cabinet failed to follow the rules they set for others. The ​government has ​shown itself to have little respect for public health and the law.

​“It is deeply insulting to those who nursed ​the sick and the dying throughout the pandemic to claim they shared the neglectful attitude of ministers.

“​Michael Fabricant ​should apologise for his ​offensive comments and retract them fully. ​UNISON would also be happy to arrange a meeting between him, nurses ​and other healthcare workers. This would give them the opportunity to inform the MP for Litchfield of their ​pandemic experiences and ​what it’s like to work in the NHS.”

Notes to editors:
–UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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