“I think at the time just like many teachers and nurses who after a very long shift would tend to go back to the staff room and have a quiet drink which is more or less what he has done.”

Michael Fabricant, BBC News

April 11, 2022

Facts

Mr Fabricant was suggesting that, like Boris Johnson, many teachers and nurses would have broken the rules during lockdown. 

The Royal College of Nursing  made a formal complaint over the comments, calling them “demoralising and factually incorrect.” 

Writing to him, Pat Cullen, general secretary of the RCN, said: “While you position yourself with some authority as to the behaviour and actions of nurses during the pandemic, I’d like to inform you of the following facts.

“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, shower 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 – in communities, in hospitals, anywhere people are – are long, unrelenting, understaffed and intense.

“At the end of one of the many hours, days and years we have worked, since recognition of the pandemic, I can assure you that none 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.”

Other teachers, doctors and nurses have said Fabricant’s comments are untrue. 

Verdict

Mr Fabricant’s comments have been disputed by nurses themselves

We approached Mr Fabricant to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.

PreviousNext