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UK PM parades around hospital without mask after dodging Parliament

UK PM parades around hospital without mask after dodging Parliament

Boris Johnson has been accused of flouting Covid-19 guidance during a trip to a hospital.
The prime minister visited a hospital in Northumberland on November 8, 2021, which happily coincided with a bruising Commons debate on the Owen Paterson debacle.

Now Mr Johsnon has been accused of ‘irresponsibly parading’ around without a face covering after pictures from the visit were released.

The PM was at Hexham General Hospital to push the government’s messaging encouraging vulnerable and older people to take up the offer of a booster jab.

But pictures showed him meeting masked nurses inside the building without wearing one himself.

According to guidance published on the trust’s website, it recommends that visitors wash their hands at the hospital entrance and ‘wear a face covering when you enter the hospital until you leave’.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth blasted the prime minister on Twitter.

He said: ‘So not only is Boris Johnson too cowardly to turn up to Parliament to defend the sleazy corrupt government shenanigans of recent days.

‘He’s now irresponsibly parading round a hospital without a mask. Patients and NHS staff deserve better than this.’

However, Downing Street and the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hexham General, defended the prime minister following the visit.

Replying to a complaint about Mr Johnson appearing without a mask in a photo, Northumbria NHS said on social media: ‘Please be assured that infection prevention and control remains an utmost priority for our trust.

‘The prime minister, Boris Johnson, followed strict measures, including wearing a mask, in each clinical area he visited.’

Questioned by reporters on whether Mr Johnson had broken the rules, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘During a hospital visit, we always make sure we abide by the rules set out.

‘He will have been abiding by the rules in place.’

Mr Johnson came in for criticism after being pictured not wearing a mask while sitting with 95-year-old national treasure David Attenborough at the Cop26 climate conference.

280 miles away in the House of Commons, some members of the Tory party turned on the PM over his handling of sleaze allegations.

Mark Harper, who has been a minister and served as chief whip, said: ‘If on occasion, as on this occasion… the team captain gets it wrong, then I think he should come and apologise to the public and to this House.

‘That’s the right thing to do in terms of demonstrating leadership.’
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