Will the government redeem themselves and meet with the nurses?

Business of the House (15th December 2022)

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
Perhaps we could have a debate on the accurate use of Charles Dickens as a political metaphor. Much as I hate to contradict my hon. Friend Thangam Debbonaire and the Leader of the House, Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by four ghosts. The first was the ghost of Jacob Marley, who was condemned to roam the earth, dragging chains behind him as a penance for his meanness during life. After the Government’s miserliness in refusing even to meet nurses to discuss a pay increase, may I remind the Leader of the House of the message of Jacob Marley, namely that redemption is available? Does she agree that the Government ought to meet the nurses to discuss a decent pay rise before Christmas?

Merry Christmas, Mr Speaker—and, as Tiny Tim said,

“God bless Us, Every One!”

Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
As a Portsmouth MP, I am delighted that Charles Dickens is featuring so heavily in this business question, but I repeat the answer that I gave earlier. We value our NHS staff tremendously. The Minister who has been primarily concerned with the matter—the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend Maria Caulfield—is a nurse. We understand the incredible job that nurses do very well, but we also have to ensure that we are able to control inflation and that pay rises in the public sector are affordable.