Media 9 December 2019 Boris Johnson dismisses a photo of an ill child – by pocketing the reporter’s phone A perfectly normal human reaction. ITV News screengrab Phoning it in. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up During this election campaign, Boris Johnson’s mask has slipped so far it’s currently dangling round his ankles. This time, he’s reacted to a journalist showing him a picture of a sick child... by taking their phone and putting it into his pocket, instead of looking at it. When ITV News’s Joe Pike repeatedly entreated the Prime Minister to look at and react to the photo of a four-year-old boy with suspected pneumonia forced to lie on coats on a hospital floor due to lack of beds – a story that made the Mirror’s front page – Johnson refused to engage. “You refuse to look at the photo, you’ve taken my phone and put it in your pocket, Prime Minister, his mother says ‘the NHS is in crisis’, what’s your response to that?” asked Pike. Rumbled, Johnson then muttered “I’m sorry”, took the phone out of his pocket, glanced at the photo and called it “terrible” and then apologised to the “families and all those who have terrible experiences in the NHS” – swiftly moving on to trotting out the standard Tory attack lines on Brexit “deadlock” and “paralysis” and Jeremy Corbyn working with Nicola Sturgeon in government. Classy. Watch it here: 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. The PM grabbed my phone and put it in his pocket: @itvcalendar | #GE19 pic.twitter.com/hv9mk4xrNJ — Joe Pike (@joepike) December 9, 2019 › Could tactical voting actually alter the election result? Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!