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High Court Judge Ruled Nurses' May 2 Strike Plans Unlawful

Strike action planned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for May 2 has been called off after a High Court judge ruled it would be unlawful.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay secured the court's interim declaration after "regretfully" bringing legal action against part of the trade union’s proposed walkout in a long-running dispute over pay.

Lawyers representing RCN did not attended a hearing in London on Thursday to face the Government's accusations that strike action beyond the end of May 1 has "no democratic legitimacy".

RCN members working in the NHS in England at workplaces with a strike mandate are preparing to take 48-hour industrial action from 8 pm or the start of the night shift on April 30.

Mr Barclay previously said NHS Employers, which represents NHS employers in England, had contacted him asking him to check the legality of the action because the organisation believes the strike mandate runs out on May 1.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Linden concluded that a 6-month period in which industrial action can be taken following the RCN balloting members last year expires at midnight on Monday.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice after the judgement, Royal College of Nursing general secretary Pat Cullen said the union would no longer strike on May 2, but would continue with the planned action on April 30 and May 1.