Royal College of Nursing’s Pat Cullen roasts Peter Hitchens on Question Time for claiming nurses shouldn’t strike

"Could Peter live in Central London on £27,000 and travel to his work every day, costing possibly around £500 a month to get to and from work"

Pat Cullen

The Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) general secretary Pat Cullen has been praised for taking apart the arguments of Mail columnist Peter Hitchens who claimed that nurses should not be striking.

Yesterday marked the first time in their 106-year history that nurses from the RCN took strike action, with up to 100,000 nurses taking part across England, Wales and Northern Ireland over poor pay and patient safety.

Nurses have faced real terms pay cuts and on average earn £5000 a year less since 2010.

Asked to respond to Hitchens’ claim that nurses shouldn’t go on strike, Cullen told the audience on Question Time:

“I would ask a couple of things of Peter. Could Peter live in Central London on £27,000 and travel to his work every day, costing possibly around £500 a month to get to and from work, could Peter live and keep his family in London on £27,000. Could he pay his utility bills, pay his child minding and make sure that he keeps his head above water and pay his rent. I would suggest he couldn’t, so why is it good enough for a 90% female profession.

“In fact Peter, I find that quite a macho response tonight to my profession and quite an insult.”

Hitchens accused Cullen of making a huge logical jump, saying that he didn’t say nurses shouldn’t be well paid even if he thinks they shouldn’t go on strike.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

(Picture credit: Youtube)

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