Hancock criticised after telling MP and A&E doctor to reconsider ‘tone’ over coronavirus questions
- Credit: Archant
Matt Hancock has been criticised after telling a Labour MP, who serves as an A&E doctor, to reconsider her 'tone' after she questioned the government's approach to coronavirus.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour's shadow mental health minister, used her appearance at the despatch box to question the government's strategy in tackling coronavirus, which she said some frontline workers feared was costing lives.
Standing in front of health secretary Hancock, she said: 'Frontline workers like me have had to watch families break into pieces as we deliver the very worst of news to them, that the ones they love most in this world have died.
'The testing strategy has been nonexistent. Community testing was scrapped, mass testing was slow to roll out and testing figures are now being manipulated.'
The serving A&E doctor added: '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.'
You may also want to watch:
Allin-Khan continued: '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?'
But a tetchy Hancock suggested the Tooting MP should change her 'tone' and to approach the session like shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth had done so prior to her appearance.
- 1 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 2 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 3 James O'Brien schools Brexiteer who refuses to accept new EU-UK trade rules
- 4 Matt Hancock praises free school meals before being reminded he voted against them
- 5 Nigel Farage launches new party in Scotland to promote 'positive case for the Union'
- 6 Keir Starmer got it right with vote on Brexit deal
- 7 The polling that signals the plight of the Union
- 8 Brexiteer MP ridiculed after calling for free movement of goods between GB and NI
- 9 Scottish fishing boats ditch UK waters for Denmark to escape Brexit red tape
- 10 PMQs Review: The one where the speaker finally snapped
He said: '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.'
Before rising to her feet Alin-Khan had been praised by House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle 'for what you and all your staff do in the NHS saving lives'.
She later tweeted in response to the health secretary, saying: 'I will not 'watch my tone' when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily. Families are being torn apart.'
Sky News journalist Alex Crawford responded: 'This ticking off for daring to question possible errors as UK becomes the European country with the highest coronavirus death toll seems just bizarre and not a little frigging frightening.'
Daily Mirror political editor Pippa Crear wrote: 'She was doing her job. One of them. The other one is working as an A&E doctor during the coronavirus crisis. I would gently suggest that it's Matt Hancock who has got his tone wrong on this one.'
Fellow Labour shadow minister Jess Phillips tweeted: 'Her tone was fine, respectful, and might I dare say her view is more knowledgeable about the front line than the health secretary. Can't imagine why he doesn't like her 'tone'. (obviously I can well imagine)'.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.