A union chief has criticised Lichfield’s MP after he suggested nurses were having “a quiet drink” in staff rooms during national lockdowns.

Michael Fabricant
Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant made his comments as he sought to defend Boris Johnson following the news that the Prime Minister had been fined for attending a lockdown party.

But the Conservative MP’s words have drawn criticism from the Royal College of Nursing.

In a letter to Mr Fabricant, the organisation’s chief executive Pat Cullen said:

“I’m not sure how often you spend time on the frontline, so I’d like to share with you how the profession of nursing practices ethically, responsibly and in the face of ongoing pressures and constraints.

“We remain at the forefront of the pandemic response. Despite political narrative, as health care professionals we know that the Covid-19 context is nowhere near over.

“Throughout the pandemic – and still certainly, now – most days nurses and nursing support workers when finally finishing a number of unpaid hours well past shift end, will get home, clean their uniforms and collapse into bed.

“Throughout the early pandemic this was often alone for the protection of others – kept away from family, friends and support networks.

“These shifts are long, unrelenting, understaffed and intense. At the end of one of the many hours, days and years we have work since recognition of the pandemic, I can assure you hat now of us have sought to hang out and ‘have a quiet one in the staff room’.

“There isn’t a site in England that would allow alcohol on the premises for any professional to consume during working hours.”

Pat Cullen, Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive said actions of health workers should not be used to justify rule breaking by politicians.

“As frontline professionals, still dealing with the implications of the pandemic – understaffed, underpaid, overworked, exhausted, burnt out and still holding it together while doing the best we can for our patients – it is utterly demoralising and factually incorrect to hear you suggest that our diligent, safety critical profession can reasonably be compared to any elected official breaking the law.”

Pat Cullen, Royal College of Nursing

Join the Conversation


Our volunteers moderated 1262 comments in the last 30 days. Say thanks with a coffee.

  1. I’m actually shocked and extremely disappointed by what Michael has said. I have several friends who are teachers and, the idea that alcohol would be consumed on school premises is insane. So too is the notion that Nurses were having parties or drinks after work, breaking COVID rules. These were people who were on the front line EVERY DAY. Michael says he knows teachers and nurses who broke COVID rules (of course he does). If Michael has evidence of individuals who broke COVID rules, why didn’t he come forward and report it at the time?

    Michael has a track record of making outrageous and offensive remarks but, this really is beyond the pale.

    I’m ashamed to say I actually voted for this man. Never again.

  2. I have been a card carrying member of the Conservative party and voted Conservative all my life, but over the past few years I nave become disappointed with Mr Fabricant in fact I think a new candidate should be selected by the Conservative party at the next general elections.The comments he made during his last interview were to be honest appalling, the references to hospital staff were particularly stupid and insulting. Maybe it’s time to go Mr Fabricant.

  3. My daughter’s a nurse, caring for immune-compromised patients. Thanks to Johnson & Sunak’s negligence, she’s currently on her third bout of Covid. In the first wave, she lost a very dear friend & colleague, a mum of 3. She doesn’t drink. Nor did her late friend.

    That this evil little man dares to imply that public servants who give their all, many of whom gave their lives, have as few morals as he does says everything we need to know about him.

    If the voters of Lichfield continue to return this embarrassing imbecile to Parliament, I truly despair

  4. It seems my friend Jean Thomas was right ? She used to say if Mickey Mouse was the Tory candidate for Lichfield he would get elected !! Looks like it’s TRUE then ? Sad for Lichfield’s reputation ?

  5. I’m totally shocked with these comments how dare he suggest the nurses and teachers have a drink after their shift. I am a nurse and for one after a 12-13 hour shift I just want to go home have a shower and crash in bed hoping to sleep before I’m up at 5 am to start the day again. I have had friends and family who have personally been affected by this pandemic including covid deaths or delayed treatment due to covid.

    This is a vile man who really has no idea how the health care teams actually work. Also teachers who have struggled for the last 2 years. !!!

    Please resign!!!

  6. This man is hated at least by the taxi drivers of his home city. That is what several have told me. Not conclusive but if it was was me I would walk. Fabricant walk away.

  7. I’m a nurse working on a National telephone Helpline. My most poignant moment during the pandemic was when an 88 year old woman ended my call to answer another from the hospital which she expected to tell her that her dearly loved husband had died. I doubt that the healthcare professional who told her then went to sit and have a quiet drink with mates. Fabricant and his lying cronies don’t have a clue, they live on another planet to the rest of us and should resign

Leave a comment
Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy before posting.

Your email address will not be published.