Support 100 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.

Classy.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A weekly round-up of The New Statesman's climate, environment and sustainability content. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Watch it here: