Youngest Labour MP is SACKED by care home she returned to work at during coronavirus crisis after exposing the lack of PPE
- Labour MP Nadia Whittome returned to Nottingham to work as a carer
- She was elected as the youngest MP, aged 24, in last year’s general election
- Whittome said the care home locked down PPE store cupboards amid fears of staff stealing equipment
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The UK’s youngest MP Nadia Whittome has been fired after speaking out about the lack of PPE she saw when she returned to the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
Whittome, who won her seat for Labour in Nottingham East on 12 December, returned to Lark Hill retirement village in Nottinghamshire a month ago, pledging to help out in her former role.
The 24-year-old has been critical of the lack of protection and testing for staff earning ‘poverty pay’ at Lark Hill, voicing her opinion during televised appearances on BBC, SkyNews, and through her own social media channels.
The UK’s youngest MP, Labour’s Nadia Whittome (pictured in Parliament), has been fired as a carer after she returned to the frontline of the coronavirus crisis last month
She told the Mirror that shortages were risking the lives of residents and carers, adding that staff were only permitted the use of one mask a day and that the PPE store-cupboard was locked amid fears workers might steal and sell the equipment.
Whittome alleged the onsite nurse said masks aren’t effective against the virus and that workers could buy them for themselves if it made them feel safer.
The site is run by Extra Care charitable Trust, who confirmed the MP had been fired for speaking to the media about her concerns, but refuted Whittome’s claims about PPE shortages, adding that her comments had caused panic among their elderly residents.
Undated handout photo issued by Labour MP Nadia Whittome of herself (front right) with colleagues from Lark Hill retirement village in the Clifton area of Nottingham
Shortly after she was elected to her seat in December, Whittome announced she would be donating a huge chunk of her salary to charities in her constituency because she wished to earn a ‘worker’s wage’.
Whittome said she was ‘appalled’ by the home’s decision and said the trust hadn’t followed due process in her termination.
She has called on other care staff who think they’ve faced discrimination by care providers to contact her.
A nurse in PPE speaks to a resident at the Wren Hall care home in Nottingham, which had 10 infected patients, on the date of this photo on 20 April, 2020
One of Whittome’s colleagues, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Mirror that she was ‘dumbfounded’ at the decision made by Extra Care to remove an ‘excellent caring worker’ and that the MP ‘hasn’t stated anything other than facts’ in media interviews.
A spokeswoman for the Lark Hill Trust, told the publication they were well equipped with a ‘fully [sic] supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’ and that reports of a lack of equipment were ‘inaccurate’.
The reason for Whittome’s dismissal, they said, is also due to staffing requirements. She was employed as a casual worker for eight shifts and the trust said they no longer needed her. All her time slots are now filled by permanent workers, they said.
Pictured: Undated file photograph of Whittome speaking on SkyNews about the coronavirus crisis
The trust went on to detail the amount of PPE in their ownership, including 6,000 masks.
They said Whittome’s comments caused ‘concern’ among the residents, with significant efforts needed to calm them.
‘This has occurred during a critical period when all of our resources have to be focused on protecting our resident’s safety and welfare,’ they said.