Matt Hancock just warned Labour MP for Tooting Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, to watch her “tone” after she tried to hold the government to account over coronavirus testing.
Dr Allin-Khan, a hospital doctor who has returned to work on the NHS frontline during the coronavirus crisis, claimed in the House of Commons today:
The [coronavirus] testing strategy has been non-existent. 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?
In response, Hancock “welcomed the Honourable Lady to her post as part of the shadow health team” and then added:
I think [Dr Rosena Allin-Khan] might do well to take a leaf out of the shadow secretary’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 in this country, including getting to 100,000 tests a day.
We’ve been entirely transparent on the way that has been measured throughout, and I have confidence that the rate will continue to rise. Currently capacity is 108,000 a day, and we are working to build that higher.
Of course, we’ve been working very hard to make the testing capacity grow as fast as possible and as more tests are available so we are able to make them available to more people and test people right across the NHS.
Dr Allin-Khan took to Twitter to respond to the Tory MP telling her to watch her “tone”:
I will not 'watch my tone' when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily. Families are being torn apart. https://t.co/pfMsBQpHv0
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan 💙 (@Dr Rosena Allin-Khan 💙)
Similarly, the outrage on social media to Hancock’s objection to Dr Allin-Khan’s tone was swift, with many calling it sexist:
@MargaretDunne13 @MattHancock @DrRosena @JonAshworth @Keir_Starmer No it doesn’t. It shows that he is a sexist pig,… https://t.co/rsTOthHK5n