In a shocking Parliamentary clash, Matt Hancock hit out at Labour’s Dr Rosena Allin-Khan in a heated rebuttal. The former deputy leadership candidate turned shadow mental health minister is also an A&E doctor in her Tooting constituency. She was warned to “watch her tone” by the Health Secretary after grilling him on the number of coronavirus tests.
Dr Allin-Khan 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 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?”
Mr Hancock replied: “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.
“We’ve been entirely transparent on the way that has been measured throughout.
“I have confidence that the rate will continue to rise.”
He continued: “Currently capacity is at 108,000, and we are working to build that higher.
“Now, of course, we’ve been working very hard to make the testing capacity grow as fast as possible.
“As more tests are available, so we are able to make them available to more people and test people right across the NHS.”
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The Health Secretary added: “I pay tribute to the work of NHS and social care staff on the frontline.
“Nothing should take away from the team spirit with which we approach this.”
Mr Hancock did manage to meet his goal of 100,000 tests by the end of April on the final day of the month.
Following the clash, Dr Allin-Khan tweeted out: “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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