Jeremy Corbyn has warned about the “utter desperation” of nurses after joining some of those on strike.

On Tuesday (December 20) Mr Corbyn, who sits as an Independent MP for Islington North, joined nurses on strike outside Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) took part in strikes for the first time in the union’s history.

Former Labour leader Mr Corbyn said: "Nurses work under enormous pressure to keep us and our loved ones alive, healthy and safe.

“The historic strike by the RCN is, of course, about pay and conditions. But it's also about the very future of our NHS. They have my full support."

Speaking later in the day in the Commons, he added: “[Striking nurses] were there not through their wish to be out there, but because of their utter desperation at the situation they’re in at the present time, after seven years of inadequate pay rises, huge workloads and a huge loss of nursing numbers within the NHS.”

Health secretary Steve Barclay has declined to discuss pay when meeting union officials, saying the government follows the recommendations of the independent review body, but he has said his door is open to discuss other areas of nursing.

Speaking ahead of the strike, Mr Barclay said: “The RCN’s demands are unaffordable during these challenging times and would take money away from frontline services while they are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.”