Dua Lipa demands pay rise for nurses as she wins

Dua Lipa demanded a pay rise for NHS workers as she won two major awards at the Brits - the UK's first major in-person ceremony of the Covid era.

And Little Mix called out sexism in the music industry after becoming the first all-female outfit to win best British group.

The other big winners on the night were J Hus, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.

The test event at London's O2 Arena took place with a 4,000-strong audience and no social distancing or face masks.

Rappers Headie One and AJ Tracey used their performance to call out the demonisation of drill music and criticise the government, while highlighting the work done by footballer and free school meals campaigner Marcus Rashford.

The 2021 Brits were very much a Lipa year though, as the singer won two of the three awards for which she was nominated.

Future Nostalgia, last year's biggest-selling LP in the UK, predictably won best album.

But it was after winning the best British female award, her first of the night, that the star called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give nurses and NHS workers pay rise, as opposed to mere applause.

This year, each of the Brit award trophies came in two parts and Dua dedicated hers to British nurse Dame Elizabeth Anionwu - who she noted has spent "a stellar nursing career fighting racial injustice" and "protecting frontline workers".

"She has also said that there's a massive disparity between gratitude and respect for frontline workers," said the singer. "Because it's very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them.

"So I think what we should do, is we should all give a massive, massive round of applause and give Boris a message that we all support a fair pay rise is for our frontline."

The audience, which was packed with key workers, gave her a standing ovation.

Before her double win, Lipa had performed a medley of hits from her latest floor-filling record.

It was a visual love letter to her home city of London, complete with Tube celloists and a union jack skirt which evoked memories of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's famous patriotic dress.