Nicky Morgan laughed at as presenters slam 50,000 more nurses Tory manifesto 'deceit'

PUBLISHED: 09:38 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 25 November 2019

Nicky Morgan was grilled over her government's claim to provide the NHS with 50,000 more nurses after it emerged the figure includes19,000 nurses already employed. Photo: ITV

Nicky Morgan was grilled over her government's claim to provide the NHS with 50,000 more nurses after it emerged the figure includes19,000 nurses already employed. Photo: ITV

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The culture minister was slammed by Good Morning Britain presenters over the Conservative government's claim to provide the NHS with 50,000 more nurses after it emerged the figure includes 19,000 nurses already employed.

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Speaking to Nicky Morgan GMB host Piers Morgan said: "We know that trust in Boris Johnson is very low, we know that he did a debate recently and it came up as a question and everybody laughed at the idea that he could be trustworthy.

"When he leads a manifesto that the flagship policy is it - is there's going to be 50,000 more nurses, and now you as a culture secretary, a member of that cabinet and government, admit that 19,000 of them are already NHS nurses.

"Viewers at home go 'this is complete nonsense."

Nicky Morgan tried to justify the blunder, saying: "There are other ways that nurses come into the NHS, there will be overall and we are very clear on this, 50,000 more nurses in ten years time than there are today."

Boris Johnson made the announcement on Sunday at the Conservative manifesto launch, noting 18,500 of the 50,000 would come by encouraging existing nurses to stay in the profession and others to return. 12,500 would also be recruited from abroad.

Labour has said it therefore meant only 19,000 posts would be filled by brand-new nurse trainees, and the shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth called the claim "deceitful".

Piers Morgan replied to the secretary of state for culture, saying: "I know you keep saying that but 19,000 of them are existing NHs nurses. Do you see the problem?"

Nicky Morgan replied: "I think it's realistic to say we've got highly skilled staff who we do not want to leave. If we are able to encourage them to stay that's good news."

This infuriated Susanna Reid, who told the minister: "It's not more nurses - isn't it a bit like saying on Good Morning Britain tomorrow there will be three more presenters, and then tomorrow you just have exactly the same number of presenters because you managed to persuade me, Piers and Charlotte to carry on doing the job tomorrow. It's not more."

Nicky Morgan then admitted there would not "be an additional three" presenters but said "you have got your six haven't you?"

"The fact is three of you have been encouraged to come in on Tuesday morning and not just on Monday morning," she said.

Both Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan found this laughable, with Reid asking Nicky Morgan: "Do we not have really odd maths going on here? We wouldn't have six more presenters, we would have the existing three presenters and three extra presenters."

Piers Morgan added: "Even as you said that sentence you knew that was probably a wrong avenue to go down, didn't you?"

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