Labour’s newest MP, Rosena Allin-Khan gave her maiden speech today with the former junior doctor paying tribute to her fellow public sector workers, her family and to Tooting, the constituency that she represents.
Beginning with a touching memory of past Labour politicians including Jo Cox, Dr Allin-Khan promised to “pledge to bring my years of experience in, and deep commitment to our NHS in order to stand up for it.”
“They – we- see work as a vocation, not as a job,” she said. “That is why they have been so damaged by the mishandling of the junior doctors’ contract – and why nurses are so distraught when they see their bursaries axed.”
“It is morally reprehensible that student nurses are forced to seek food banks or that women in medicine are penalised for having children.”
Dr Allin-Khan also paid tribute to her predecessor, Sadiq Khan, the new London Mayor who watched today’s speech in the gallery. She praised her “inspirational” predecessor for spending “11 years working tirelessly for the people of Tooting.” She spoke about what she and Mr Khan had in common including surnames, and brought laughter to the house when she pointed out that her dad was not a bus driver.
But, the new MP also warned of the need for Labour to be in government saying, ‘”my dream of becoming a doctor became a reality not only with my own work and support from my family, but because a Labour government made it financially possible for me to access a world-class medical school at Cambridge.'”
“That is one reason why my ambition will always be for Labour to win power – not just sit on these opposition benches.”