Father who confronted Boris Johnson about NHS cuts says Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg was "doing her job" for pointing out he is Labour activist

Omar Salem confronts Boris Johnson at a hospital in London. Picture: PAOmar Salem confronts Boris Johnson at a hospital in London. Picture: PA
Omar Salem confronts Boris Johnson at a hospital in London. Picture: PA
A father who confronted Boris Johnson to complain about the state of the NHS has defended the BBC's political editor after she faced criticism for pointing out he is a Labour activist.

Omar Salem said Laura Kuenssberg was doing her job "without fear or favour", after a Twitter storm in which she was condemned for potentially opening him up to abuse online over the incident.

After Mr Salem took the Prime Minister to task during a visit to a children's ward at Whipps Cross University Hospital, where his seven-day-old daughter is being treated, Kuenssberg told her followers he was a Labour activist, before linking to one of his posts about the incident.

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It prompted fury from many social media users, with some suggesting it could "direct harassment" at Mr Salem, and causing #SackLauraKuenssberg to begin trending online.

On Thursday Mr Salem tweeted: "@bbclaurak is doing her job without fear or favour, which is a vital part of democracy. I don't think 'Labour activist cares about NHS' is a huge scoop though..."

The BBC had earlier said any suggestion Kuenssberg had maliciously shared Mr Salem's tweet was "absurd".

In a statement the BBC said: "Laura is a journalist who uses social media as part of her job.

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"Like many others, Laura quote-tweeted a thread by Omar Salem, who had written himself about his encounter with the PM on social media and describes himself as a Labour activist.

"Any suggestions there was malicious intent behind her tweets are absurd."

The tweet of Mr Salem's which Kuenssberg shared read: "Boris Johnson dropped into @WhippsCrossHosp for a press opportunity - so I gave him a piece of my mind about how he is running the NHS based on the experience with my 7 day old daughter, who was neglected for hours last night."

During the visit, Mr Salem told Mr Johnson: "There are not enough people on this ward, there are not enough doctors, there's not enough nurses, it's not well organised enough.

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"The NHS has been destroyed... and now you come here for a press opportunity."

Mr Johnson, who was wearing a 'Hello my name is' badge, an innovation pioneered by Yorkshire doctor Kate Granger, replied: "There's no press here," but Mr Salem gestured to cameras filming the confrontation, and said: "What do you mean there's no press here, who are these people?"