Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
21 August 2019updated 25 Jul 2021 6:53am

Boris Johnson dismisses a photo of an ill child – by pocketing the reporter’s phone

By Election Mole

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.


Select and enter your email address Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A quick and essential guide to domestic politics from the New Statesman's Westminster team. A weekly newsletter helping you understand the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Watch it here: