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BORIS JOHNSON confiscated the phone of a reporter who wanted to show him a photo of a sick boy sleeping on the floor of A&E due to a lack of hospital beds.
He was asked about the photo by ITV reporter Joe Pike during his campaign trail in north-east England.
Tried to show @BorisJohnson the picture of Jack Williment-Barr. The 4-year-old with suspected pneumonia forced to lie on a pile of coats on the floor of a Leeds hospital.
— Joe Pike (@joepike) December 9, 2019
Mr Pike said: “The PM grabbed my phone and put it in his pocket.”
The journalist had confronted him about the image of four-year-old Jack Williment-Barr who lay on a pile of coats while waiting hours for treatment in Leeds General Infirmary for suspected pneumonia.
When pressed about the image, Mr Johnson wanted to talk about Brexit saying: “Let me tell you, I haven’t had a chance to look. I’ll study it later. I’ll give you an interview now.”
Mr Pike then challenged him for pocketing his phone. Mr Johnson removed the phone, mumbled “sorry,” and added: “It’s a terrible, terrible photo and I apologise, obviously, to the family and those who have terrible experiences in the NHS.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the clip showed Mr Johnson “just doesn’t care” about the sick child.
Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth slammed Mr Johnson as “pathetic and cowardly” and said that the Tory government spent the last decade cutting staff numbers and 17,000 hospital beds.
He said refusing to look at the photo was a “new low” for the PM, adding: “Don’t give this disgrace of a man five more years of driving our NHS into the ground. Sick toddlers like Jack deserve so much better.”
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