Health secretary to pursue legal action to stop nurses’ strike action


Health Secretary Steve Barclay has said he plans to “pursue legal action” over the Royal College of Nursing’s upcoming strike action.

In a statement, Mr Barclay said: “Following a request from NHS Employers, I have regretfully provided notice of my intent to pursue legal action to ask the courts to declare the Royal College of Nursing’s upcoming strike action planned for 30 April to 2 May to be unlawful.

“The government firmly believes in the right to strike, but it is vital that any industrial action is lawful and I have no choice but to take action.”

Pat Cullen, the RCN general secretary and chief executive, branded the move “nakedly political”.

“Nurses will not be gagged in this way by a bullying government,” a statement said.

“We are clear that court arguments should only relate to 2 May and not the 30 April and 1 May.

“The government is now desperate to silence nurses rather than address this properly. We want to be in the negotiating room, not the courtroom.”