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Minister slated for 'five minute' speech

Nursing minister Dan Poulter was booed as he left the stage at a community nursing conference after speaking for less than five minutes.

Dr Poulter was late arriving at the Unite Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association annual conference in Brighton due to delays on the train.

He apologised in advance for the brevity of his speech as he had to get back to London to speak in a parliamentary debate on regional pay in the NHS and declined to take questions.

However, delegates were unimpressed describing the performance as “appalling”, “embarrassing” and “ridiculous”.

Department of Health nursing director Viv Bennett told the conference Dr Poulter had considered abandoning the engagement due to the train delays but wanted to show the profession how highly he regarded it.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Perhaps he could have got an earlier train, driven down or travelled the night before to show the profession how highly he regarded it.

    Why tell the conference he had considered abandoning the engagement, are we supposed to feel grateful for his time.

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  • Nursing Director Viv Bennett SHUT UP -Do you think we are gullible little kids?

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  • tinkerbell

    'he had to get back to London to speak in a parliamentary debate on regional pay in the NHS and declined to take questions'.

    I bet he did! Hope he had to get back quick to say that nurses should be paid more.

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  • Yes, it was grim, but we hate ministers swanning around in expensive cars - so have to accept that railways sometimes mess up and a three hour journey instead of one hour is exceptional. Apparently the conference organisers/Unite the Union advised him that a short speech would be preferable to a few questions, perhaps they knew it would be the most unpopular choice. Or would he have been booed whatever he said?

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  • trains being late is quite common, if I had to be somewhere important I would make sure I gave myself plenty of time.

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