Dua Lipa calls for NHS pay rise in Brit Awards speech

Dua Lipa accepts the award for Best Female Solo Artist during the Brit Awards 2021

Dua Lipa accepts the award for Best Female Solo Artist during the Brit Awards 2021 at the O2 Arena - Credit: PA

Dua Lipa used her acceptance speech at the Brit Awards to call for a NHS pay rise, prompting Cabinet minister George Eustice to stress there is a “difficult public finance environment”. 

The 25-year-old former Parliament Hill School pupil was the big winner at the female-dominated Brit Awards last night (May 11), which marked the return of live music to the O2 Arena after more than one year.

The singer and songwriter won both the best female solo artist and the coveted best album award, and in her first speech she called for a pay rise for NHS workers. 

She said: “It’s very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them.

“I think what we should do is we should all give a massive, massive round of applause and give Boris (Johnson) a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line.”

Labour leader and MP for Holborn and St Pancras, Keir Starmer retweeted a video of her speech, saying: "Give our NHS heroes a pay rise."

In Lipa's second speech she demanded a posthumous bravery award for 20-year-old Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, who died after jumping into the River Thames last month to save a woman.

Dua Lipa performs during the Brit Awards 2021 at the O2 Arena, London

Dua Lipa performs during the Brit Awards 2021 at the O2 Arena, London - Credit: PA

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In response, Environment Secretary Eustice told BBC Breakfast: “There’s been a pay rise, it was announced. 

"There’s been a pay freeze for most of the public sector and it’s also important to recognise that in recent years that there have been some pay rises as well, particularly for nurses and the lower paid.

“We know that it is a difficult public finance environment as well, so we can’t always go as far as you’d like but it’s also the case that there’s also a pay review that’s going on into the NHS.”

The Brit Awards featured an audience of 4,000 people and took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme. Some 2,500 tickets were gifted to key workers from the Greater London area, many of whom wore blue.

Audience members attending the indoor ceremony were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated.

However, they needed proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue and will be required to provide details to NHS Test and Trace and follow Government guidance while travelling.

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