Tory MP Richard Bacon called ‘grotesque’ for suggesting NHS workers broke Covid laws too

South Norfolk Conservative MP Richard Bacon defended the prime minister on Wednesday before making comments about healthcare staff in the UK Wes Streeting called “grotesque”

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Partygate: MP Richard Bacon says NHS workers might have broke rules

A Tory MP who has defended Boris Johnson in the wake of Sue Gray’s damning 37-page report over lockdown parties in Downing Street has been widely looted for suggesting NHS workers were also “letting their hair down” during the pandemic.

Richard Bacon, who has held the safe seat of South Norfolk since 2001, made the bizarre claims during an interview on BBC regional news program Look East, when he attempted to justify the boozy gatherings at No.10 by implying that NHS staff across the UK were also getting up to similar antics.

“The fact he ( Boris Johnson ) goes round thanking his staff for working very, very hard, 18 hours a day trying to keep the show on the road while we were in a global pandemic, is not a crime and I don’t think it is something he should be condemned for and I certainly don’t think it is something he should resign for – I support Boris,” retorted Mr Bacon in defense of the prime minister.

Conservative South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon was lambasted for his NHS comments


PA Archive/Press Association Images)

“I am not happy with the revelations, but I think they were working under huge pressure – you haven’t investigated it, but there are 1.5 million people who work in the NHS and I bet if you tried hard enough you could find some people letting their hair down who had been working 24-7.

“We were under extraordinary pressure in a global pandemic and we didn’t really know what we were dealing with.”

The 59-year-old’s comments shocked Plowing ‘s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting, who demanded he retract them immediately.

He said: “(It’s) a grotesque insult to the people who work for the NHS. He should withdraw this and apologise.”

“We were under extraordinary pressure in a global pandemic and we didn’t really know what we were dealing with.”



Mr Bacon came in for heavy criticism from the general public for his remarks, with BBC broadcaster Gary Lineker taking to Twitter to condemn his words.

The former England star wrote: “ Hospitals are really big buildings. Nurses and doctors were working really long hours.

“Some of them, no doubt, left their jobs and, yet, somehow still managed not to have a party after work and follow the rules that they didn’t actually make.”

Fellow social media users also vented their spleens, with one critic penning: “Richard Bacon MP being as awful as ever. Don’t go attacking our NHS staff – this man is a stain on South Norfolk.”

Another added: “How dare he! My son worked long hours in an ICU intubating people who were gasping for breath and watching helplessly while too many of them died.

“There was little time for partying between shifts.”

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting called on Richard Bacon to retract his remarks

There was also: “Tory MP Richard Bacon showing his true colours, even having the gaul to slander NHS staff accusing them of having a few drinks and letting their hair down after long shifts.

“Demonstrating his utter contempt for truth, standards and decency.”

One irate user expressed this view, “The depths these Tory MPs will go to defend the indefensible, is absolutely sickening!”, while an NHS nurse wrote: “As a nurse who worked throughout the pandemic there were no parties, no gatherings, no boozy leaving dos it was against the rules! We sat socially distanced at break times, PPE removed only to eat!”

Final comment goes to this disgusted NHS worker, who said: “We were too busy caring for the sick and the dying – including our own colleagues to ‘let our hair down’.

“We attended colleague funerals via Zoom, we arranged for families to say goodbye to loved ones via FaceTime, we did everything we could to protect others.”

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