British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a lie that was really, really easy to fact-check on Wednesday.
During a visit to London’s Whipps Cross Hospital, Johnson was confronted by the parent of a sick child. The man accused the prime minister of using the hospital as a press opportunity while the National Health Service has been falling apart ― to which the PM replied, “Well, actually there’s no press here.”
In a video shot by the press, the man is seen gesturing incredulously to his right, asking, “What do you mean, there’s no press here? Who are these people?”
The man, who later tweeted about the incident, is Omar Salem, a Labor Party activist who campaigns against Brexit. He told Johnson during the exchange that there simply weren’t enough nurses and doctors on the ward to keep things functioning properly.
In a series of tweets after the incident, he said that while the accident and emergency (A&E) team were “great,” his 7-day-old daughter had waited hours to see a doctor:
Screenshots of an email published by BuzzFeed News show that Downing Street issued a press release for the visit, which provided media with information about the visit and quotes from the prime minister.
Images and video of the exchange were shot by BBC and the Press Association.
Johnson put out a tweet of his own, saying he did not consider the incident an embarrassment but simply “part of my job”: