The MP for St Albans has branded the UK government's negotiation tactics "utterly disgraceful", when dealing with the nurses' strike.

Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper was speaking on Thursday's episode of the BBC's Question Time.


Asked whether the nurses’ strike shows government failure or a government battling for the taxpayer, Daisy Cooper MP commented: “Is it a catastrophic failure of government? Yes, it absolutely is, and it’s a tragedy for both nurses and patients. 

“But, what’s more, I think the government’s tactics have been incredibly underhand.  

“The government has used really dodgy figures, misleading figures, to claim that it can’t give a pay rise to workers.” 

Asked for an example by Fiona Bruce, she added: “Well, they claimed that it was going to cost £28 billion, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies called that ‘a dodgy number’ because actually it is more like half of that. 

“So, they are using over-inflated numbers to try and make their point.  

“I think that is a really underhand tactic by the government. 

“The government has also refused to negotiate on pay, which I think is incredibly underhand, and the government continues to argue that it can’t interfere in the so-called independent pay review body. 

“Now - aside from the fact that it isn’t really independent because it has its hands tied, it’s given the envelope by the government – aside from that point, the government simultaneously claims that it can’t interfere in this so-called independent process.  

“Whilst, at the same time, it did interfere in that process when it came to the train strikes. 

“The train bosses and the train workers actually agreed a deal that could’ve seen off the strikes on the trains this Christmas, but the government intervened and blocked that deal. 

“So, the underhand tactics from this government, I think, are utterly disgraceful and it’s the public who are going to suffer.” 

The MP also gave her thoughts on whether there should be a safe and legal route to claim asylum before entering a country.

The Lib Dem deputy leader added: “We have a very proud history, in this country, of taking in people who are fleeing war and persecution. 

“It is a scar on our country, and it is heart-breaking, that people are dying in the Channel. 

“It should not be happening, and we need to stop it from happening before more people lose their lives.  

“There is an answer that is a glaring answer staring this government in the face, and it is to reopen the safe and legal routes that the government has shut down."