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Boris Johnson caught on camera describing anti-vaxxers as ‘nuts’ on visit to Beckton GP surgery

PUBLISHED: 12:11 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:36 24 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Tollgate Medical Centre in Beckton today (July 24). Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Tollgate Medical Centre in Beckton today (July 24). Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

The prime minister has been filmed describing people opposed to vaccinations as “nuts” on a visit to a GP surgery.

Mr Johnson elbow bumps lead nurse Marina Marquis during the visit. Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA WireMr Johnson elbow bumps lead nurse Marina Marquis during the visit. Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

Boris Johnson was recorded as saying: “Because there’s all these anti-vaxxers now... they are nuts,” during a trip to Tollgate Medical Centre in Beckton today (July 24).

Mr Johnson also said “I’m sorry if I don’t apologise”, when asked if he finds it hard to say “sorry”.
Speaking to the media during a visit to the surgery, he added: “Of course there are things that we get wrong. We’re learning the whole time and you’ve got to learn from your mistakes as fast as possible.”

The PM was joined by East Ham MP Stephen Timms at the surgery in Tollgate Road to hear first hand about the care staff are providing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Managing partner, Dr Laura Scott, said: “It was great to welcome the prime minister and his team.”

The prime minister uses hand gel during his visit. Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA WireThe prime minister uses hand gel during his visit. Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

The visit coincided with an announcement of plans to expand flu jabs to reach 30 million people in England in a bid to mitigate against a possible second wave of Covid-19 and protect the NHS.

Mr Johnson discussed the surgery’s online triage system which has cut waiting times and enabled some people to see a doctor without leaving their home or taking time off work.

The online system was brought in before Covid-19 struck with the practice reporting dramatic improvements in waiting times since its introduction.

Selina Douglas, managing director for Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “It is fantastic that staff had the opportunity to discuss the impact Covid-19 is having.

The prime minister said during the visit: The prime minister said during the visit: "Of course there are things that we get wrong". Picture: Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

“Across our area we are seeing some really innovative approaches to improving patient care and it is great to see these getting the recognition they deserve.”

On top of talking about the challenges they have faced, the team at Tollgate spoke about the importance of keeping up immunisations for children.

Sarah Portway from the centre said: “It is really important that children continue to have their immunisations and babies get their six week check-ups.

“We have done this by providing part of the consultation remotely, to reduce Covid-19 transmission risk.”

Children and babies were only brought into the surgery for their jabs and check-up with everyone involved wearing personal protective equipment.

The centre also proudly shared the work that Dr Ken Cochran, a GP partner at the practice for 34 years, has led on. The work of Dr Cochran and fellow GP trainers highlighted the importance of support during budding doctors’ work experience placements and its value in recruiting and retaining GPs.


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