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Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan has an epic response to anyone who thinks she needs to ‘watch her tone’ – and it involves Cher

Emma Powys Maurice May 5, 2020
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan challenged Matt Hancock in the House of Commons (Twitter/@DrRosena)

Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan had the ultimate response to those who dare to tell her to check her “tone” — invoking the eternal LGBT+ icon Cher.

The Tooting MP and staunch LGBT+ ally is also a practising A&E doctor and has been working in a hospital in her constituency throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

As the UK’s coronavirus death toll exceeded all other countries in Europe, she told health secretary Matt Hancock that failings in his coronavirus testing strategy had “cost lives”.

Addressing Hancock in the House of Commons, 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.”

Matt Hancock accused of patronising and gaslighting Labour MP.

She asked Hancock to acknowledge the fact 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”.

Rather than addressing Allin-Khan’s calmly-raised concerns, Hancock rose to the despatch box to dismiss the doctor.

“No I don’t [acknowledge it] Mr Speaker,” he said, adding that Allin-Khan “might do well to take a leaf out of the shadow secretary of state’s book in terms of tone”.

The shocking exchange caused outrage online as the public accused Hancock of patronising and gaslighting Allin-Khan, displaying a perfect example of the tone-policing that is commonly used to condescend to women and people of colour in politics.

It’s a classic control technique; shorthand for keep quiet woman. Fortunately Dr Allin-Khan stood her ground,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Dr Allin-Khan’s tone was dignified and suitably passionate for the severity of the subject,” another added. “Unfortunately, a woman’s passion is ‘unnecessary emotion’ in the eyes of weak men.”

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan hits back at tone-policing.

Afterwards Allin-Khan defiantly tweeted: “I will not ‘watch my tone’ when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily. Families are being torn apart.”

As the footage began trending online and Twitter users plastered Hancock’s feed with advice to check his own tone, Allin-Khan upped the anti in the best way possible — through the timeless words of Cher.

“Keeping my tone in check,” she tweeted, alongside a video of her belting out Cher’s classic “If I Could Turn Back Time”, which incidentally is what we imagine Hancock is wishing right now.

Never change, Dr Rosena.

More: Cher, Coronavirus, House of Commons, Labour, Matt Hancock, Rosena Allin-Khan

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