Rishi Sunak: ‘I would love to give nurses a massive pay rise’

Rishi Sunak: ‘I would love to give nurses a massive pay rise’

Rishi Sunak agreed nurses should be an exception to pay restraint rules.

NHS staff were subjected to a pay freeze during Covid, he said, but went on: “I would love to give nurses a massive pay rise – who wouldn’t? It would make my life easier.

“It’s about choices,” he said, in an interview on his first 100 days in office. A record sum was going into the NHS but more doctors and nurses and equipment were needed, he said.

Refusing to agree that car parking for nurses should be free, he agreed to look at the issue.

The prime ministeralso said he “wholeheartedly believes” he can turn around the mess the country is in by controlling inflation, growing the economy, cutting NHS waiting lists and stopping migrant boats.

In his first 100 days in office, he is proud of what the government has achieved, firstly taking action to stabilise the economy, he claimed.

He cited new deals with France and Albania would reduce numbers of illegal migrants, saying the UK was already putting Albanians on flights out of Britain.

He vowed that the Rwanda deportation scheme would happen, and that illegal migrants would understand they could be deported but that the UK would always be a compassionate country for those fleeing war or repression, such as Hong Kong, Syria or Ukraine.

“But we’re not a soft touch,” he insisted.

Asked by interviewer Piers Morgan whether he had time to make changes before the next election, the prime minister replied:“Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that, and I’m giving it nearly everything I’ve got and, of course, people might not feel that today and for all the reasons that you set out earlier, the situation is tough but I want people to have confidence that it will get better.

“So, if you go through those things I said: halve inflation, yes, I believe by the end of the year we can halve inflation.

The Sunak doctrine, he said, was about making sure people could feel proud of the UK and have peace of mind things would be better for their children and grandchildren.

And he told people to “have hope” because I can make it better and I will make it better”.

Morgan said the interview, conducted to mark Mr Sunak’s 100 days in office, was aimed at finding out who the PM really was and what motivated him.

Mr Sunak said he stood for the job “out of a sense of duty” and had assumed his time in front-line politics had ended when he resigned as Boris Johnson’s chancellor.

The Tories are trailing Labour by more than 20 points in most polls, with the latest poll of polls putting the Conservatives on 27 per cent and the opposition on 48 per cent support.

The prime minister is also under pressure over mounting Tory sleaze claims, the winter crisis in the NHS, growing public-sector strikes and deepening cost-of-living woes.

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