Nurse slams Tory MP Mark Jenkinson for editing Question Time speech to ‘fit agenda’

Screenshot of a nurse appearing on BBC Question Time

Tory MP Mark Jenkinson has been criticised for seemingly “misrepresenting” a nurse’s comments on the BBC’s Question Time to “fit his agenda”.

Jenkinson shared a clip of Thursday’s (21 September) programme on social media, which showed an NHS nurse saying she had done 27-hour shifts in the past.

“This nurse on was clear that the NHS was much more short-staffed back in 2008, at the tail-end of a Labour government, than it is today,” he wrote on X, formerly called Twitter. 

The nurse, Holly, said in the clip: “I’ve worked in the NHS for almost 20 years, I did shifts nearly 15 years ago that were 27 hours long. There were no nurses to take over because we were so short-staffed… that was nearly 15 years ago.”

Twitter’s community notes called Jenkinson out on the content of the full-length clip, in which Holly explained why she was in favour of NHS strike action and criticised the Tory government for making NHS staff feel “undervalued”. 

Holly also criticised the MP for Workington, in Cumbria, writing on X: “You need to delete this. Do not edit and twist my words and story to fit your own agenda.

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“Things were bad then, but they are much worse now. Disgraceful behaviour.”

When approached for comment, Jenkinson did not refer to Holly’s post or the NHS strikes, but instead accused PinkNews of promoting “child mutilation”, linking to an article citing the benefits of top surgery for young trans adults.

Strikes are continuing across the NHS after months of industrial action. Consultants walked out on 19 and 20 September, and junior doctors did likewise between 20 and 22 September. Both groups will also be striking between 2 and 4 October. 

Nurses have also taken industrial action this year, and are expected to be balloted again about whether to stage a further round of strikes in the new year.

The full-length clip of Holly’s appearance on Question Time showed that she supported the strikes, and did not mention the Labour government.

“I’m a nurse, I voted to strike in the last ballot. When I’m balloted again, I will vote to strike again, and I’ll do that continually until pay talks open and they’re realistic,” she is heard to say.

“We are striking for pay, we are striking because we feel undervalued but we are also striking for patient safety. When we’re accused of putting patients at risk, I say: patients are at risk every single day of the week.

″The government needs to get real and address the situation.”

Jenkinson has come under fire for his comments about the trans community before. He has described teens wanting to transition as “abhorrent” and said that opposition to the government’s now-seemingly-aborted plan to exclude transgender people from a ban on conversion therapy was “virtue-signalling BS”

In addition, ahead of Scotland’s now-scrapped gender recognition reforms, Jenkinson branded the legislation, which would have made it easier for trans people to update the sex marker on their birth certificates, “terrifying”.

He added that it was “abhorrent” that the bill would have allowed 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate.

“My intention is not to target a particular community, but to make sure that trans rights do not come at the expense of those of other groups who also have a right to safety, dignity and respect,” he said in January.