Sleaze scandal clearly not hurting him enough, Boris Johnson has decided to further embroil himself in a PR nightmare - this time by cutting about a hospital without a mask.

On a visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland on Monday to promote booster jabs, the prime minister decided the best way to do so was to expose people to his maskless hot air.

In photos, Johnson was seen elbow-bumping and greeting nurses who were - unlike him - wearing disposable face coverings.

Like so:

Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonPA

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

It didn’t look great so in a statement to the press, Johnson’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.”

Meanwhile, the NHS trust in question said he followed the rules, which the trust says included wearing a mask in each clinical area he visited:

And Dominic Raab was wheeled out to the press to defend the PM’s actions:

Did any of it help? No. People thought the optics weren’t great - particularly as Johnson had skipped a parliament debate on sleaze to hang out on the wards.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said it was “irresponsible”.

While palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke said:

Former Tory MP Anna Soubry said:

And writer Robert Hutton joked:

Here’s how other people reacted:

Oh dear. When someone’s mask slips, it’s rarely a good look, but this is something else.

Indy100 has contacted Downing Street to comment further on this story. They said: “As the hospital trust has made clear, the Prime Minister followed the Covid measures that are in place during his visit, including wearing a mask in all clinical areas.”

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)