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NHS pay row prompts nurse to give up chance of becoming MP


A former mental health nurse and union activist has given up the chance of challenging for a seat in parliament, after becoming disenchanted with the coalition government’s approach to NHS pay.

In February David Harding-Price was selected by the Liberal Democrats as their candidate to challenge for the parliamentary seat of Lincoln in the general election next May.

However, on 1 October, Mr Harding-Price issued a statement in which he announced his decision to stand down.

Among his reasons, he cited the “failure by MPs to support nurses in providing them with a pay rise while continuing to give themselves well above the rate of inflation pay rises”.

Liberal Democrats

David Harding-Price

He also noted family reasons, increasing UK involvement in the conflict with IS and poor turnouts in general elections as playing a factor in his decision not to stand as the Lib Dem’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Lincoln.

Mr Harding-Price retired from the NHS in 2012 after 30 years in mental health nursing. He continues to work occasionally as an independent nurse consultant on a freelance basis.

He is currently the RCN council member for the East Midlands.  

“I will continue to speak up for people as an individual and as the council member and honorary treasurer of the Royal College of Nursing,” he said.

The current MP for Lincoln is Conservative Karl McCartney, who took the seat from Labour in the 2010 general election. The Liberal Democrats were third.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Good to see someone sticking up for their beliefs. Although maybe our cause would have more weight behind it if MP's had first hand experience of the disenchantment of nurses and allied health professionals and the effect that out-of-touch political decisions have on the professions

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  • Or more accurately, he is not standing as a Lib Dem candidate...As the Lib Dems are likely to be cut to ribbons in 2015...

    If he wanted to be an MP or was actually bothered about the state of the NHS (I doubt this given the Lib Dems "enabling" role in Lansley's bill and all that has followed, without many dissenting Lib Dem voices, not to mention the typical lack of action from the RCN), how about he joins the NHS Action Party or stands as an independent in order to demonstrate his commitment.

    Forgive me, but this sounds awfully weaselly.

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  • I agree with BasketPress, I was itching to write something similar when this story first broke but bottled it - partly because of the unqualified reference to "family reasons" which is fair enough to everyone.

    I cannot however ignore the perceived weakness in the arguments of not supporting current Government policy, be it in public sector pay or foreign policy. The whole point of our adversarial political system is to stand up and be active in opposition.

    One has to wonder what the point of this story actually is?

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