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5 May, 2020 17:38

UK health secretary branded a ‘bully’ after telling Labour doctor MP to check her 'tone’ amid Covid-19 criticism

UK health secretary branded a ‘bully’ after telling Labour doctor MP to check her 'tone’ amid Covid-19 criticism

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has provoked a furious backlash after rebuking a Labour shadow minister – who happens to be an NHS doctor – for her “tone” after she suggested the government’s lack of Covid-19 testing had cost lives.

While putting questions about the coronavirus crisis to Hancock in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan asked whether he would concede that his government’s short supply of testing had been “responsible for many families being unnecessarily torn apart in grief.”

The query drew a disgruntled response from Hancock who appeared rattled by Allin-Khan’s uncompromising assertions, as he fired back “no I don’t,” before suggesting that she should watch her “tone.”

The Labour MP for Tooting in south London – who has continued to work shifts as a doctor in accident and emergency during the Covid-19 outbreak – tweeted shortly after the confrontation to insist that she would “not ‘watch my tone’ when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily.”

Hancock’s reaction to Allin-Khan in Parliament prompted an angry response on social media, with commenters describing him as “patronising” and a “bully” for attempting to shut down a politician who has first-hand experience of the damaging effects of the deadly virus in the UK’s hospitals.

Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott insisted Hancock was “very unwise to be so dismissive,” adding that there was nothing wrong with her Labour’s colleague’s tone.

Former Labour MP and NHS Biochemist Liz McInnes labeled Hancock’s response “quite astonishing,” saying that he was “clearly rattled” by evidence given by an MP who was working on the frontline in healthcare. 

The UK government has received widespread criticism for it’s low testing levels in comparison to countries such as Germany, South Korea, and Singapore, as well as reports of attempts to inflate figures in order to reach the stated target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day.

One such reported measure is the inclusion of tests once they have been sent out for use, as opposed to counting tests that had reached the laboratory.

Also on rt.com UK Covid-19 death toll surpasses 30k, becoming HIGHEST in Europe

The UK’s Covid-19 death toll has now surpassed both Spain and Italy after breaking the 30,000 threshold, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The grim milestone was likely reached days ago, but the ONS did not publish the combined official tallies from each UK member nation as of April 24 until Tuesday morning.

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