Hugh Laurie leads celebrity backlash to ‘pitiful’ 1% NHS pay rise: ‘This will not do’

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 (Getty Images for BFI)
(Getty Images for BFI)

Hugh Laurie and Nicola Coughlan are among the celebrities to have criticised the government for only giving NHS staff a one per cent pay rise.

The Conservative Party faced significant backlash on Thursday (4 March) after it was announced that hospital workers would only be receiving a small pay increase, despite having worked in gruelling conditions throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Labour leader Keir Starmer called the pay rise “pitiful”, while multiple unions are reportedly considering taking industrial action.

The news was widely condemned, including by actor Laurie, who tweeted: “No no no. A 1% pay rise for nurses will not do.”

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan also reshared a tweet from Labour mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham reading: “£37,000,000,000 for private Test and Trace. £3.50 for NHS nurses.”

“This you @Conservatives?” she tweeted.

Comedian David Schneider wrote: “Where we are now: After having risked their lives to carry us through a deadly pandemic for a whole year, NHS staff have been rewarded by the government with a - *checks notes* - £3.50 a week pay rise.”

Actor Colin McFarlane posted in reply to an NHS worker: “You are on the front line helping to keep us all safe & risking your lives… There should be no need to debate this. 1% #nhspayrise is totally insulting to all in the @NHSuk I hope the court of public opinion will force a government U turn. Unlikely but [prayer hands emoji].”

EastEnders star Davood Ghadami tweeted: “1% pay rise for #nhs workers!? After this year!!? F*** sake. But as long as theres £Billions for your PPE contract pals hey @BorisJohnson ? hundreds of thousands for bullying settlements hey @pritipatel? #nastyparty.”

Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton reshared a photo from a nurse, writing: “Look at this lad. Look at his face and then wonder how on earth the men and women of our magnificent NHS are only worth a 1 per cent pay rise... What a despicable kick in the teeth from the most self-serving government in our history. We should all be appalled.”

“@NadineDorries don’t you even dare think about standing to applaud the NHS when you think they are only worth an effective pay cut. Don’t you dare,” tweeted Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts, after the health minister said that she was “pleasantly surprised” by the pay increase.

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