Mr Cleverly attempted to defend Mr Johnson amid huge public backlash over his apparent lack of empathy after he was shown a picture of a young ill boy lying on a hospital floor in Leeds due to a shortage of beds. The Tory chairman said it wasn’t “the case at all” that Mr Johnson didn’t have empathy when asked by BBC Newsnight’s political editor, Nicholas Watt.
Mr Watt asked Mr Cleverly about the photo of the young boy on the hospital floor.
He said: “Is the Prime Minister not able to show empathy for a young child?”
Mr Cleverly replied: “No, rubbish.
“This is about a whole load of people who want to see change, they want to see Brexit delivered and they want Boris as our Prime Minister.”
Mr Watt continued with his question: “The Prime Minister is not able to empathise with a 4-year-old boy on a hospital floor?”
Mr Cleverly replied: “No, that’s not the case.
“That’s not the case at all.”
The photo in question was presented to Mr Johnson during an interview with ITV’s Joe Pike, who showed the Prime Minister the photo on his phone.
“But what we are doing is supporting the NHS, and on the whole I think patients in the NHS have a much, much better experience than this poor kid has had.
“That’s why we’re making huge investments into the NHS, and we can only do it if we get Parliament going, if we unblock the current deadlock, and we move forward.”
Mr Watt’s brief interview with Mr Cleverly had taken place at a Tory rally.
Mr Cleverly was made up by the amount of people at the gathering, he said: “It’s fantastic here, you can feel the energy in the room.
“This is, you know… the people are really up for this, they’re really excited for this election.
“It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be right up until the polls close.”
It comes as the Tories are forecast to secure a slim majority of just 28 seats in Thursday’s general election as Mr Johnson faces a crunch final 24 hours of campaigning to try and secure victory in the historic poll.
The last YouGov MRP poll before this week’s crunch vote has dramatically cut the predicted size of the Conservative Party’s majority in the House of Commons.
The forecast showed the Tory lead down to nine points from 11 points since a similar poll last month.
The Tories are forecast to win 339 seats out of 650 in the general election – down from 359 in the last poll but up from 317 in the 2017 general election.
Published at Wed, 11 Dec 2019 01:38:00 +0000