UK PM Johnson pockets reporter's phone in hospital row

Ruben Fields
December 10, 2019

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire on Monday for his response to being shown a photo of a sick child lying on a hospital floor ahead of the December 12 election.

An ITV television reporter attempted to show Mr Johnson the picture - of a boy next to an oxygen mask - but Mr Johnson refused to look down at it and put the phone in his pocket. "That's why we're putting a record investment into the NHS now", Johnson said, before beginning to speak about new investment in police and the health service.

It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to target Labour heartlands in a bid to convince Leave voters that Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit position is akin to a "great betrayal". A video of the prime minister briefly declining to look at a photo of Jack had been viewed more than a million times by mid-afternoon Monday (UK time).

She said she was "angry at the lack of funding and the lack of beds" and accused Johnson of "failing our children".

But the reporter insisted, asking: "Why don't you look at it now?"

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Both Labour and Johnson's Conservatives are pledging to pour funds into Britain's state-funded National Health Service after years of only modest increases under Conservative governments. "So I have every sympathy with families who have".

"You refuse to look at the photo, you've taken my phone and put it in your pocket, prime minister", Pike says as Johnson can be seen reaching into his left pocket and pulling the phone out while muttering, "I'm sorry".

"What we are doing is supporting the NHS and on the whole, I think patients in the NHS have a much, much better experience than this poor kid has had".

When called out by Pike for taking his phone, the prime minister looks down at the screen saying: "It's a awful bad photo, and I apologize obviously to the families and all those having a awful time in the NHS".

He continued by saying that "unblocking" parliament's deadline wth a Conservative majority is the only way to make bigger investments in the NHS.

He adds that the prime minister expressed "sorrow and regret" for what he saw and apologised to the family, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock also went to Leeds to apologise. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press.

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