Boris Johnson heckled in Bolton after visiting flat fire victims: ‘Get out of here’

Anger comes days after Yorkshire locals vented at prime minister

Vincent Wood
Sunday 17 November 2019 20:18
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Compliation of Boris Johnson talking to people who are not 'rich Remainers'

Boris Johnson was told to leave a support hub set up for those evacuated from the Bolton student flat fire – the latest instance where the prime minister has been heckled by members of the public.

Mr Johnson arrived at the scene the day after the blaze that displaced some 220 students from the town centre flat complex dubbed ‘the Cube’.

Firefighters had worked well into the night and over the following day to subdue the fire, which gutted the top floor of the building and caused substantial damage through to the lower stories – while nearby residents came together to help the building’s alarmed residents.

However Mr Johnson, who praised the “incredible response” from the community after essential items were donated to the university, did not receive a universally friendly welcome.

“Don’t talk to us. Get out of here”, one man told the prime minister, gesturing to the exits of the Bolton university building where items including clothing, food, toiletries and phone chargers were being handed in for those affected.

“How dare you come up here a day late”, he added.

Mr Johnson appeared to avoid the angered man, walking past to talk to others including students and university staff.

The heckling came just a few days after members of the public hit out at Mr Johnson for his response to flooding that drove people from their homes across Yorkshire – having arrived six days after the incident began.

Residents jeered “Where’ve you been?” and “You took your time” at the prime minister as emergency workers and troops showed him details of the relief effort.

Mr Johnson insisted: “We’ve been on it round the clock.” He later refused to apologise for the government’s handling of the crisis.

In September, shortly after his adviser Dominic Cummings suggested reporters “get out of London” and stop talking to “rich remainers”, Mr Johnson was called out in the streets of Leeds by residents.

In a clip broadcast by the BBC, a man could be seen coming up to Mr Johnson and shaking his hand, before asking him to “please leave my town” and slapping him on the back.

The prime minister, who appeared to have been caught by surprise, agreed and simply replied: “I will, very soon.”

In another clip filmed on the same day, a man shouted “you should be in Brussels negotiating”, to which Mr Johnson replied: “We are negotiating.”

However, seemingly unsatified with the answer, the man retorted: “You are not. You are in Morley, in Leeds. You are playing games.”

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