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Health Secretary Matt Hancock Tells MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan To Watch Her ‘Tone’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock Tells MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan To Watch Her ‘Tone’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock caused eyeballs to roll across the country when he told a female MP to watch her "tone".

Shadow Mental Health Minister and doctor Rosena Allin-Khan appeared in the House of Commons in between A&E shifts on the front line to question the government on lack of coronavirus testing for healthcare workers, which has cost dozens of NHS staff their lives.

But Hancock was quick to fire back - denying that a lack of testing was endangering lives, and even went on to suggest she should take a leaf out of her colleague's book "in terms of tone".

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FFS.

Dr Rosena had simply questioned the government on coronavirus testing (Credit: BBC)
Dr Rosena had simply questioned the government on coronavirus testing (Credit: BBC)

Dr Rosena later took to Twitter to defend the way she had spoken in the Commons, writing: "I will respectfully challenge the Government - I want our country to succeed.

"However I will not 'watch my tone' when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily."

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And people soon flocked to agree with her, branding Hancock "condescending" and "hypocritical" for criticising her, and demanding he formally apologise.

Labour MP Diane Abbott replied: "Absolutely nothing wrong with your tone. It reflects and reverberates with the reality of what yourself and other NHS workers are experiencing. Hancock very unwise to be so dismissive."

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While former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman responded: "Something creepy about a man telling a woman to watch her tone! Worse that he recommends she adopts the tone of another man. I suggest Matt Hancock changes his."


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Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, David Lammy, wrote: "Matt Hancock should apologise for telling @DrRosena to 'watch her tone' after asking a perfectly factual question.

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"This is no way for the Health Secretary to speak to a serving A&E doctor." Amen.

Hancock's comment came after Dr Rosena expressed a real concern about the lack of testing available for her colleagues on the frontline.

The government has missed its testing target for three consecutive days now, falling short by more than 50,000 tests.

Dr Rosena spoke passionately about her experiences on the frontline (Credit: BBC)
Dr Rosena spoke passionately about her experiences on the frontline (Credit: BBC)

Yesterday, only 84,806 COVID-19 tests were carried out from its daily test target of 100,000.

More than 140 front line NHS and care workers are believed to have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The testing strategy has been non-existent," Dr Rosena urged. "Community testing was scrapped, mass testing was slow to roll out, and testing figures are now being manipulated.

"Does the Secretary of State commit to a minimum of 100,000 tests each day going forward?

"And does the Secretary of State acknowledge that many frontline workers feel that the Government's lack of testing has cost lives and is responsible for many families being unnecessarily torn apart in grief?"

Matt Hancock advised Dr Rosena on her 'tone' (Credit: BBC)
Matt Hancock advised Dr Rosena on her 'tone' (Credit: BBC)

The Health Secretary replied: "No, I don't, Mr Speaker. I welcome the honourable lady to her post as part of the shadow health team...I think she might do well to take a leaf out of the shadow secretary of state's book in terms of tone.

"I'm afraid what she said is not true. There's been a rapid acceleration in testing over the last few months, including getting to 100,000 tests a day."

*Sigh*.

Maybe one day men will stop feeling threatened by women who challenge them...

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Coronavirus, Politics

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]