Judy Murray is among a raft of celebrities and politicians to back an NHS cleaner who says he has been ‘betrayed’ by the UK Government.
Hassan Akkad, originally from Syria, spoke out after learning migrant workers will not be included in the Tory bereavement scheme.
Porters, cleaners and social care staff working for NHS England are not included in the Home Office scheme which grants the families of health workers indefinite leave to stay in the UK if they die of coronavirus.
It has not been announced yet whether similar schemes being introduced in the rest of the UK will be based on the same criteria.
In a moving video, a visibly emotional Hassan said he felt like he had been “stabbed in the back” by the government as he addressed Boris Johnson directly to ask him to reconsider the move.
Choking back the tears, film-maker Hassan said his partner would not be allowed indefinite leave to remain if he died while helping tackle the virus.
He said: “Hi Boris. My name is Hassan and I am proudly working as a cleaner at a hospital 10 miles away from the hospital which you were in.
“I wanted to help this nation overcome this pandemic.
“I’ve really been enjoying the clapping that you and other minister have been doing.
“Today, however, I felt betrayed… stabbed in the back.
“I was shocked that you have decided to exclude myself and my colleagues who work as cleaners and porters, social care workers.
“We’re all on minimum wages and you’ve decided to exclude us from the bereavement scheme.
“So if I die my partner isn’t allowed an indefinite leave to remain.
“This is your way of saying thank you to us.
“I’m sending you this in the hope that you will reconsider, because I did see a humble Boris after you were discharged from hospital – I saw a different Boris
“Us migrants are on the front line doing these very demanding jobs to help this nation overcome this pandemic, and the least you can do is to give out families indefinite leave to remain.
“Please reconsider and I hope to hear back from you.”
Hassan’s video soon went viral, racking up more than a million views in just a few hours, and attracting support from the likes of radio host Richard Bacon and Labour MP Jess Philips.
Judy Murray shared the post and added: “This made me cry.”
Lola McEvoy, NHS organiser for the GMB union, told the Independent the Government’s policy was “heartless”.
“Once again our lowest-paid key workers are left out in the cold,” she said.
“We ask them to take the maximum risk – but they get minimal reward.
“They have been drafted to the front of the fight on Covid-19 and if – as so many have – they lose their lives in doing so, their families are not looked after.
“It’s only right that they’re offered the same security and peace of mind as directly-employed NHS staff – after all they face the same dangers.”