Dr Rosena Allin-Khan unveils deputy leadership campaign

Sienna Rodgers
©️ Chris McAndrew/CC BY 3.0

Rosena Allin-Khan, a Labour MP who still works shifts as an A&E doctor in her local hospital, has confirmed her candidacy for the role of deputy leader.

Unveiling her bid, the Tooting MP and Labour frontbencher emphasised that she is a practicing NHS doctor who “knows you cannot simply guess what is wrong with a patient”.

Allin-Khan’s launch statement stated that “you have to listen to the patient’s symptoms and investigate the root causes” – and “this is what she will do as deputy leader of the Labour Party”.

The deputy leadership candidate has vowed to “listen with humility” to those voters who lost faith in Labour and look at how the party can use its grassroots to “reconnect with local communities”.

Allin-Khan also promised that, if she won the role of Labour’s deputy leader, her priority would be to “fight against a far-right Brexit” and ensure that the NHS is not “up for sale” under Boris Johnson’s government.

The London MP, who replaced Sadiq Khan as Tooting’s representative in a 2016 by-election, had been tipped as a potential contender by LabourList before she gave an interview to The Sunday Times.

She told the newspaper that she would bring a “fresh, non-tribal approach” to the deputy leadership race, and “work very much with the grassroots” if elected to the role.

Announcing her bid, Allin-Khan said: “The Labour Party shaped my values, while giving me the chances a person from my background otherwise would not have had.

“It gave me the ability to represent my community and provided me with the opportunity to train as a doctor to harness the skills to listen and serve people – regardless of their age, background or personal struggles.

“I want the Labour Party to be in government again to afford the current generation the hope that was offered to me.”

Setting out her plan to win power, she added: “It is vital that we restore trust in the Labour Party across the country. It is clear that people did not trust us – we need to accept this fact, evaluate it, and learn from it in order to move forward.

“We cannot put words into people’s mouths. Our path back to power involves listening with humility to those former Labour voters who have abandoned the party. I believe my life experience means I can help our movement do this.”

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