Corbyn ally Andy McDonald embarrasses Starmer as he publicly disagrees with party leader

Andy McDonald discusses NHS staff pay

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Sir Keir Starmer’s own shadow Cabinet ministers have publicly disagreed with the Labour leader, amid growing party splits. Shadow Employment Secretary Andy McDonald appeared to suggest to LBC’s Iain Dale that Sir Keir’s position on the NHS pay rise was not good enough. The awkward moment comes as Sir Keir continues to struggle to break through as Labour leader.

Mr McDonald, who is one of the last surviving Corbyn allies in the shadow cabinet, said that the Government’s offer of a three percent pay rise for NHS staff was not good enough.

He said that Labour should push the Government to get as “close as they can” to the Royal College of Nursing’s 12.5 percent rise demand.

Mr Dale pointed out the contradiction, saying: “I don’t want to create a splint here but that isn’t what your leader Keir Starmer has said.

“You’re actually going against what he has said.”

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In his own interview with LBC earlier this week, Sir Keir repeatedly dodged questions about the NHS pay demands.

He criticised the three percent offer as “not fair”, but refused to commit himself to a figure.

Sir Keir said the 15 percent suggested by some was “high” and noted that the increase would “have to be negotiated”.

Mr Dale continued: “When you have someone in your position, in the shadow cabinet, saying something that is directly opposite what your leader is saying, what is the electorate to make of that?”

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Mr McDonald insisted he was simply giving a “straightforward answer” to the question.

He explained: “What they have done for us is nothing short of miraculous and it is so courageous.

“And for them to be given a three percent pay rise – they would need a 12 percent rise to put them in the same position they were in in 2010.”

Mr Dale continued to press Mr McDonald: “The Welsh Government has also offered three percent, and that is run by Labour, so you sound as if you think it should be a lot higher?”


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He said: “I would do it everywhere.

“I think we need to get wages in the NHS significantly higher.

“The RCN has put in a pay claim at 12 percent. That is simply to get them into the right place.

“My view is that we should listen very carefully and closely to them. We should get them as close as possible to that 12.”

A new poll from Savanta ComRes for LabourList showed that a majority of UK adults believe NHS workers should get a bigger pay rise than the one currently on offer from the Government.

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