Unite’s national health committee, representing 100,000 health workers, this afternoon (Wednesday 12 January) called for Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister due to his ‘disastrous’ handling of the pandemic.
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Health workers have toiled long and sacrificed much during the last two years of the pandemic. They have taken huge personal risks caring for the public and day-after-day observed all the standing rules on Covid.
“The prime minster has set these rules and yet he has flagrantly broken them. His position in office is now untenable. His reprehensible personal conduct follows his disastrous handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen the UK suffer the highest death toll in Europe with more than 175,000 deaths – equivalent to the population the size of the city of Southend.
“His cavalier disregard for the rules he himself repeatedly urged us to adhere to has been compounded by the thousands of avoidable deaths in care homes at the start of the pandemic in 2020; the scandal of PPE contracts awarded to ‘friends’ of the Tory establishment; and the lack of first class PPE equipment for frontline health and social care staff.
“This flagrant breach of the rules came just a few weeks after NHS workers saved his life when he suffered from coronavirus and he was in intensive care. The prime minister should show more respect to NHS workers and the public.
“His credibility to lead the country through the next stage of the pandemic is in shreds – who will believe a word he says? Our Unite health committee made up of serving NHS workers across the UK has lost its confidence in the prime minister.”
The call for Johnson’s resignation was echoed by Unite lead officer for London buses John Murphy who said: “The prime minister’s conduct is disgraceful. More than 50 London bus workers have died of Covid, the vast majority in the first wave when Boris Johnson thought it was OK to have a party.
“Bus drivers and their families made huge sacrifices during the pandemic to keep the capital running. The prime minister didn’t even follow his own rules and should resign.”
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.