The Speaker
Friday, 14 June 2024 – 09:36

Conservatives involved in two controversial incidents on final Monday of election campaign

The Conservatives have been involved in two controversies on Monday, including when Boris Johnson took a reporter’s phone and placed it in his pocket.

An ITV reporter was trying to show Mr Johnson a picture on his phone on Monday, but the Prime Minister refused to look, before taking the device away and putting it in his pocket.

The reporter was trying to show the PM a picture of a sick four-year-old boy named Jack, published by the Daily Mirror, who had to sleep on the floor of a Leeds hospital. It was suspected that the child had pneumonia, but no beds were available, sparking public criticism over NHS cuts. 

Mr Johnson’s reaction to the reporter has been heavily criticised – the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, “He just doesn’t care”. Videos of Mr Johnson taking the phone have also been circulating on social media. The device was later returned and the picture was looked at by Mr Johnson.

The Conservatives were also forced to make a climbdown after aides briefed that an adviser to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock had been hit by a Labour protestor. Video footage has actually revealed that the incident was likely unintentional and appears to just show Mr Hancock’s adviser walking into the hand of a protestor. It was originally claimed by aides that Mr Hancock’s adviser was ‘punched in the face’.

The aides have since admitted the incident was likely accidental, however, they still tried to turn the story into a piece of bad press for Labour, who had protestors complaining about funding cuts under the Conservatives at the protest.

Labour’s John McDonnell accused the Conservatives of trying to ‘manipulate the media’.

‘Senior Tories’, ‘Grim’ and ‘Leeds Hospital’ have all been trending on Twitter following the incidents, which have come just days before the UK heads to the polls for the General Election this Thursday.


Photo Credit: Chatham House via Flickr under licence (CC BY 2.0)

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