Nick Ferrari Savages Grant Shapps Over Strikes: 'The Conservatives Are Hated, Basically'

The LBC presenter went on the attack as teachers become the latest group to consider industrial action.
Shapps And Ferrari
Shapps And Ferrari

Nick Ferrari told Grant Shapps “the Conservatives are hated” as he condemned the government over the public sector strikes.

The LBC presenter hit out as teaching unions prepare to announce whether their members are going to take industrial action over pay.

They would join nurses, ambulance workers, rail staff, Border Force and even driving instructors in taking strike action this winter.

Shapps, the business secretary, will today introduce a bill to parliament which would give bosses the power to sack key workers if they go on strike.

Ferrari told him: “You’ll be aware that the teaching unions are currently balloting on possible industrial action.

“What look would it be for the Conservative government if we had the rail staff, the nurses and he teachers all on strike?

″[The government] is not really competent in running this country, is it? The Conservatives are hated, basically.”

Shapps hit back: “This is below you. Every western country is experiencing huge pressures.”

But Ferrari replied: “I can go back some years to see this level of industrial action.”

Shapps responded: “Look what’s happening across the world right now, where inflation has spiked at levels we haven’t seen for decades. Why has that happened? It’s very simple - Putin illegally invaded Ukraine, pushed up energy prices, pushed up inflation and interest rates have gone up.”

Mocking the Tory minister, Ferrari then said: “Mrs Jones the geography teacher deciding to go on strike is not caused by Vladimir Putin.

“You and I have known each other long enough, come on. This is an extraordinary breakdown in industrial relations between the Conservatives and the unions.

“You have to go back to the days of Mrs Thatcher for this level of animus.”

The clash came the day after talks between health secretary Steve Barclay and union leaders broke up without an agreement to end the strike action by NHS staff.

Meanwhile, Shapps defended the government’s new anti-strike legislation by insisting “life and limb must come first”.

The new law is aimed at ensuring a minimum level of service in crucial sectors during industrial action.

Shapps said the government want to end “forever strikes” and argued that the government’s legislation would bring the UK “into line” with other European countries.

The move has sparked threats of legal challenges, while Labour has said it would repeal the legislation if it wins the next election.

Shapps told GB News: “I’ll be introducing a minimum safety level bill, which will sort of say, ‘look, we will never withdraw the right to strike from people but when there are strikes on life and limb must come first, and there has to be a minimum safety standard put in place for that’.”

He added: “We don’t really ever want to have to use that legislation.

“In those most recent strikes, the Royal College of Nursing, the nurses, agreed a set national level of support.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get there with ambulances across the country, meaning there was a bit of a postcode lottery as to whether an ambulance would turn up in the case of something serious, like a heart attack or a stroke.

“We can’t have that, so common sense tells us that we need to have minimum safety levels.”


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