ENTERTAINMENT
12/05/2021 09:24 BST

Dua Lipa's Brit Awards Speech About NHS Workers' Pay Sparks Government Response

The singer said during this year's awards show: "It’s all very good to clap for [NHS staff] but we need to pay them."

Dua Lipa’s call for NHS workers to be given a pay rise at this year’s Brit Awards has been addressed by cabinet minister George Eustice.

After being awarded Best British Female during Tuesday night’s live broadcast, Dua announced she’d be sharing her win with nurse Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, the emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London

Turning her attention to the many frontline workers in attendance on the night, Dua said: “It’s all very good to clap for them but we need to pay them.

“I think what we should do is we should all give a massive, massive round of applause and give Boris a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line.”

The following morning, environment secretary George Eustice was asked for his thoughts on Dua’s speech during an appearance on BBC Breakfast.

Eustice insisted: “There’s been a pay rise, it was announced. There’s been a pay freeze for most of the public sector and it’s also important to recognise that in recent years that there have been some pay rises as well, particularly for nurses and the lower paid.

“We know that it is a difficult public finance environment as well, so we can’t always go as far as you’d like but it’s also the case that there’s also a pay review that’s going on into the NHS.”

Back in March, it was proposed by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to the NHS pay review body that NHS workers should receive a 1% pay rise, after a year spent battling coronavirus and administering vaccines.

This proposal was slammed as “pitiful” by nursing leaders, with many other public sector workers having their pay frozen despite their efforts in the pandemic.

Asked by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin whether he accepts that this 1% increase before inflation was actually “a pay cut”, Eustice responded: “Well, if it ends up being… well, you know, the way that these things are calculated... if it’s lower than inflation then yes, people would say that in real terms that it’s not an increase.

“But it is an increase in cash terms, and that is, as I say, one of the few areas of the public sector that have seen such an increase.”

Dua’s speech also caught the attention of opposition leaders Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, who tweeted about it on Tuesday night.

Posting a video of the speech, Starmer wrote: “Give our NHS heroes an increase.”

Rayner agreed: “Well said @DUALIPA. Claps don’t pay the bills, our NHS heroes need a proper pay rise now.” 

Dua ended up being the big winner at last night’s bash, taking home not just Best British Album but also the British Female Solo Artist prize.

It was a great night all round for female talent, with Little Mix making history as the first girl band to win Best British Group and Haim scooping Best International Group.

Arlo Parks was awarded Best British Breakthrough following the success of her debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams, and Griff followed in Celeste’s footsteps as the recipient of the Brits Rising Star title.

Photo gallery Brit Awards 2021 Red Carpet See Gallery