Tragic youngster left sleeping on this hospital floor wrapped in coats deserved better from Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock – The Yorkshire Post says

This photo of Jack Williment at Leeds General Infirmary is causing immense embarrassment to Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.
This photo of Jack Williment at Leeds General Infirmary is causing immense embarrassment to Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.
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IT is difficult to know what is the greater scandal– the pitiful plight of four-year-old Jack Williment, sleeping on the floor of Leeds General Infirmary with suspected pneumonia due to a shortage of beds, or the arrogance of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.

First published in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the haunting photo of little Jack, wrapped in coats to keep warm and attached to an oxygen mask to assist his breathing, was always going to be politically embarrassing on the eve of the general election.

Boris Johnson has struggled to answer questions about the plight of Jack Williment.

Boris Johnson has struggled to answer questions about the plight of Jack Williment.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock diverted to Leeds hospital for ‘reassurance’ over Jack Williment ordeal

Distressing for the youngster’s family, it is equally perturbing that this was the best makeshift bed on offer at the hospital – a location for one of the 40 ‘new’ hospitals promised by the PM before this figure was scaled back to six.

Boris Johnson refuses to answer questions over why he avoided looking at photo of Leeds youngster on hospital floor

Yet, rather than showing some compassion, the Prime Minister took a reporter’s phone and put it in his pocket after initially refusing to look at a photo of Jack. He later tried to play down his actions, and trot out his party’s standard soundbites, as the scandal followed him across the North.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

’It was chaos’: Shocking photo shows Leeds four-year-old with suspected pneumonia forced to sleep on floor of LGI due to lack of beds

And then there was the cavalier response of Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Secretary, who made an unscheduled visit to Leeds. This had all the hallmarks of a self-ingratiating politician putting his party’s best interests – namely closing down this scandal – before those of patients having to wait in corridors for beds.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s neglect over social care is exposed – Tom Richmond

For, while Jack’s family say they are eternally grateful to hospital staff who later gave the youngster the all clear, Mr Hancock – Health Secretary since July last year – has presided over record waiting times on his watch. He’s also failed to honour countless promises to reform social care.

At the end of an election that began with Mr Johnson misjudging his response to the South Yorkshire floods, it is little reason that so many people are unsettled by the conduct of the PM and now his apology of a Health Secretary.