Boris Johnson barracked by member of the public over fake news tactics

PUBLISHED: 14:53 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 09 December 2019

After a question from a young woman in Grimsby over the Tory party's use of fake news, journalists piled onto Boris Johnson over the scandal. Photo: Sky News

After a question from a young woman in Grimsby over the Tory party's use of fake news, journalists piled onto Boris Johnson over the scandal. Photo: Sky News

Archant

The prime minister was barracked by a member of the public while over his party's fake news tactics during a campaign stop at a factory in Grimsby.

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While taking questions from the media, the prime minister agreed to take a question from a woman sat close to him, who asked: "If Labour and their manifesto don't scare the Conservatives, why is there these fake websites set up and paid Google [adverts] to put them above Labour's websites so people can't even find what they're looking for?"

Boris Johnson tried to spin the question before the woman, who has since been named as Page Hood, repeated what she asked.

Flustered, sighing, and scratching his head, the prime minister said: "Right - the short answer to that question is I'm afraid I haven't got the foggiest idea.

"As far as I understand it what happens is that there's an awful lot of activity on the Internet to try and promote views of one kind or another."

He then went back into his comfortable soundbites about getting Brexit done before being hounded back to the point by the journalists in the room.

"What about that Fact Check UK Twitter account, Mr Johnson? I think that's one of the things she was referring to," one reporter said.

"I've heard about that and obviously a lot of this is basically a media diversion, what the public really want to know about is what are plans are to get Brexit done," the prime minister replied, again feigning ignorance.

Johnson has been asked about these tactics before, and has consistently pretended not to know.

The woman who asked the question brought this up, saying: "It's been interfered with. It's your party so surely shouldn't you know what's going on?"

"I'm afraid I don't," Johnson replied.

After the media event, Hood spoke to the media about an emotional experience she had waiting in A&E for over five hours with her son, and said she was not impressed with the prime minister's answer.

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