Shaughna Phillips 'hurt' after being called a 'money-grabber' for NHS advert

Love Island’s Shaughna Phillips revealed she was ‘definitely hurt’ when she was called a ‘money-grabber’ for being paid by the Government to promote the NHS Test and Trace.

The Government admitted to paying influencers taxpayer money to flog the NHS Test and Trace – which informs people when they’ve been in contact with someone with the coronavirus – to their followers last month.

Others who were paid include Love Island stars Josh Denzel and Chris Hughes.

Shaughna, 25, admitted she usually has ‘tough skin’ but the public judgement on her character affected her, despite the Instagram advert being ‘similar to newspaper adverts.’

‘It’s not fair,’ the Celebs Go Dating star told when asked whether the Government should have received so much flak.

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‘It’s no different to a television advert or newspaper advert, and, I mean, I’ve worked for the council for four years before Love Island, so I’ve been getting paid by taxpayer money since 2017 and I am a taxpayer.’

She went on to say that rumours of how much they were paid – with some speculation saying they were paid £10,000 to £20,000 per post – were far off from the truth.

‘If the numbers were as true as they were in the newspapers, I would have done it twice,’ she laughed.

‘It’s one of them things where people just like to be outraged. Especially when there’s a face to it and they’ve got someone they can pick on.

‘I’m pretty tough-skinned. It’s actually strange.’

Shaughna continued: ‘When people troll me for my looks or things like that, things like that don’t bother me. But when they judge my character, it definitely hurts me a lot more.

‘When they were saying I was a “money-grabber” and stuff like that, that definitely hurt me more. ‘

A Government spokesperson said they had a responsibility to ‘use every means possible’ to keep the public informed during the pandemic.

Shaughna defended her actions, adding that young people don’t really read the news, so an informative post on Instagram was appropriate to keep people safe.

The star had posted an undated photo of herself with her friend, along with the caption: ‘A throwback to what I love most! Nights out and good friends! Although this may feel like a distant memory to us all, we can all do our part to make sure we can get back to better times, as safely as possible.’

She then went on to describe the simple steps to take when getting tested for the virus.

Meanwhile, the star has since moved on from the short-lived outrage and has been focusing on her one-day dating advice hotline she is working on with Towie’s Pete Wicks in collaboration with drinks brand Mike’s Hard Seltzer.

Both reality stars will be responding to relationship questions (however crazy) on WhatsApp for a short time, and considering Shaughna has had a wild ride with Callum Jones on the winter season of Love Island earlier this year, we reckon she’ll be an expert on what to do when it comes to romance.

The reality star was dumped by Callum when he chose Molly Smith during his time in Casa Amor, resulting in our favourite quote from Shaughna – ‘Congrats hun.’

And with Pete’s multiples stints on Celebs Go Dating, who better to ask for advice?

‘People might be quite surprised I’m giving dating advice but I think I’m quite well-placed to do that since I’ve had such a chequered dating past,’ Shaughna’s pal Pete explained about the campaign, which aims to help Brits stop ‘overthinking’ about dating.

Both Shaughna and Pete insist they’re really good at giving advice, they’re just ‘not good at taking it’, so this should be interesting.

Shaughna and Pete will be ready to answer the nation’s burning questions to help people who are overthinking their love decisions. All lovers can text the hotline on 07310 756 469 from 3-6pm on September 25.

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