Boris Johnson says he is 'glad' he was confronted by dad of sick child at hospital visit

Posted On: 
19th September 2019

Boris Johnson has said listening to the public's concerns is "part of my job" after he was confronted by an angry father who accused the Tories of "destroying" the NHS.

Labour activist Omar Salem told the Prime Minister during a visit the Whipps Cross Hospital that his daughter had "nearly died" there.

Omar Salem, whose daughter is a patient at Whipps Cross University Hospital, told the Prime Minister during a visit to a ward that she had "nearly died", before condemning waiting times in accident and emergency as "not acceptable".

Mr Salem said: "The NHS has been destroyed, and now you've come here for a press opportunity."

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But Mr Johnson said it did not matter whether the two had competing views as he addressed the incident on Twitter on Wednesday night.

He wrote: "I’ve been PM for 57 days, part of my job is to talk to people on the ground and listen to what they tell me about the big problems. It doesn’t matter if they agree with me."

The Prime Minister added: "I’m glad this gentleman told me his problems. This isn’t an embarrassment this is part of my job."

Mr Johnson initially responded to Mr Salem's criticism by saying that there had been no press at the event.

But the father shot back while pointing to media cameras that were present: “What do you mean there's no press here, who are these people?"

Mr Johnson's spokesperson later said the man was understandably "very distressed" but made clear that the PM was "not going to hide away from those circumstances when he goes on these visits, and so obviously is keen to talk to people and empathise and see what he can do to help".

"It's also a reminder of why exactly he is so keen to make the NHS a priority and make sure it's getting the funding that it requires," they added.