Poorly managed visit from Boris Johnson in Sutton leaves voters with unanswered questions

Boris Johnson visits King's Mill Hospital.Boris Johnson visits King's Mill Hospital.
Boris Johnson visits King's Mill Hospital.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues his campaign trail through our area, a poorly managed visit to Sutton's King's Hospital has left plenty of unanswered questions.

'Arrive at the hospital no later than 8.15am', the Conservatives told us last night, as reporter Andrew Topping and photographer Brian Eyre scurried to the Sutton site expecting an exclusive interview.

What your Chad, alongside BBC Radio Nottingham and a reporter from LBC, were greeted to, was a badly timed visit from the Prime Minister and his entourage - and the realisation that local press are at the back of the queue in this election trail.

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Mr Johnson was surrounded by cameras from national outlets as he paid visits to wards in King's Mill Hospital, with the press pack well and truly given exclusivity to what went on in the hospital.

Boris Johnson speaking to specialist critical nurse Mandy .Boris Johnson speaking to specialist critical nurse Mandy .
Boris Johnson speaking to specialist critical nurse Mandy .

But for your Chad and other local outlets, it was an hour and a half in a poorly-lit room, somewhere in Trust HQ, awaiting news about when the Prime Minister would, if ever, turn up for a chat.

The national media was given about 30 minutes in a room with Mr Johnson, going over various new policies and talking about his visit to Sutton's hospital.

Yet the regional press was scurried into a mocked-up hospital ward for exactly four minutes and 42 seconds of discussion - split between three outlets.

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We were allowed to ask Mr Johnson just one question each, despite waiting nearly two hours and thinking we may get chance to hold a Prime Minister to account during what is arguably the most important general election in a lifetime.

Your Chad wanted to quiz the Prime Minister on the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme and the unfair treatment of our former miners.

We wanted to ask him about climate change, amidst the huge flooding and landfall in our area in the last 24 hours.

We wanted to ask him about the underfunding of our transport and railways compared with other areas in the country.

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And we wanted to ask him about the rise in knife crime and the slashing to police resources since 2010, amid an ongoing murder investigation in Sutton.

The people of Mansfield and Ashfield deserve to have these questions put to a sitting Prime Minister.

They also deserve to have their issues addressed in a proper manner - not through a press call to launch a new NHS election offer.

Our NHS staff are brilliant, and to host the Prime Minister and the press pack after a tumultuous week in which the hospital has risked OPEL 4 is testament to its dedication to its service.

So we invite Mr Johnson to return to our area later in his campaign, and sit down to answer these questions with your Chad.