The UK’s youngest MP has claimed she has been sacked from her temporary role as a carer during the Covid-19 pandemic after speaking out about personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages.
Labour’s Nadia Whittome, 24, MP for Nottingham East, returned to her former role at Lark Hill retirement village, which is run by ExtraCare, to help relieve the strain on the care service.
She worked at the home for 18 months before becoming an MP and had been donating her wages to the local Covid-19 relief fund, she told the PA news agency.
On Wednesday evening, Ms Whittome claimed she has been “asked not to return” by ExtraCare.
She said she had been accused of “spreading misinformation” about the lack of PPE in the media.
Ms Whittome said the reason behind ExtraCare’s decision to terminate her role was based on an interview she gave to Newsnight on April 24 about inadequate supply of PPE.
She had previously complained staff were given only one face mask each per day, meaning the same mask was used for multiple residents.
Members of the public donated homemade visors, she said, and the store cupboard containing PPE was locked due to fears staff would steal it to sell on.
Ms Whittome further claimed an onsite “well-being nurse” had told staff masks do not make a difference but they could buy one from Screwfix if it made them feel more comfortable.
The MP said: “I am appalled that ExtraCare have chosen this course of action, without following any due process and without me ever having portrayed them negatively in the media.
“I will continue to speak the truth about my front-line experiences and I condemn care companies who try to gag staff for speaking out and raising concerns.”
She added: “I can survive being effectively sacked for speaking out because I have another income.
“But for so many people in social care – who work a skilled, exhausting and now dangerous job for poverty pay – speaking out is not an option.
“This is wrong and dangerous for care home residents and patients.”