NHS workers’ boos and city protests – Boris Johnson’s far from finest Cambridge moments

As the curtains close on his premiership, Boris Johnson’s place in history is yet to be written. For some, despite recent events, he will still go down as the charismatic leader who Got Brexit Done.

But many – even those who voted for him in 2019 – will not be able to forget the lockdown-breaking parties, gold wallpaper, poor decision-making and ‘interesting’ relationship with the truth.

In Cambridge, it is fair to say, his popularity was in question even before the rot set in.

Read more: Live updates as Boris Johnson set to resign

Here we take a look back at the time ‘Bojo’ visited Cambridge and the moments that caused quite a stir. From nurses’ boos as he left Addenbrooke’s Hospital to protests following his general election win, it’s clear to say that Mr Johnson left quite the impression.

Booed out of Addenbrooke’s Hospital

During a visit to Cambridge back on October 31, 2019, Boris Johnson was booed out of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The significant date was the day he had promised Brexit would happen.

Mr Johnson was given a tour of the facilities at the hospital where he met with staff and patients. But after insisting the UK would leave the EU on that day (October 31) some staff at Addenbrooke’s were not eager for his visit.

Boris Johnson visiting Addenbrooke's Hospital in October 2019
Boris Johnson visiting Addenbrooke’s Hospital in October 2019
(Image: Getty Images)

At the time, Lauren, who works at the hospital, said: “Boris Johnson came to visit the hospital I work in on the day that should have been Brexit. This man is a moron if he expected anything more than boos from everyone”.

One person, jiJonathon even took to Twitter to say they were ‘sick’ to see Boris at Addenbrooke’s. He wrote: “Somewhat sick to see the NHS’s nemesis striding into #Addenbrooke’s Hospital to do some cheap electioneering. #BorisJohnson”.

With another, anne_dickinson wishing they had protested at the time: “Drat. If I’d realised #LiarJohnson was at Addenbrookes I’d have gone along and protested”.

It was also reported at the time of his visit to Addenbrooke’s people were making the same joke about the PM. Boris famously said that outside No 10 that he’d “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension on Brexit. This led to many suggesting one of Cambridgeshire’s numerous ditches as a suitable option for the PM.

One student doctor was so enraged by the visit she went on a five minute rant outside Addenbrooke’s following the visit. Sixth year medical student at the time, Julia Simons, spoke to the Prime Minister during his visit.

6TH Year Medical student who tried to question Boris Johnson as he left the hospital.Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.
Julia Simons was not happy with the Prime Minister’s visit.
(Image: Philip Coburn)

Julia explained: “I said as a future doctor, what guarantees can you give me that the system that I work in will have drug accessibility? And then I also said, and as a doctor who will be working in the future how will you prevent the climate crisis that is currently being allowed to continue under your government?”

However, Mr Johnson did not have an answer for Julia. She explained: “I was pushed away. I just came out of clinic, and I was told that Boris Johnson was coming, and I was just like oh my goodness. As a normal person you never get that opportunity to say something to someone like that.

” I really want to ask him like what’s next, and I was told I wasn’t allowed to ask him any questions. Which I think is a really good sign this is a PR stunt. People that work in this hospital know the reality of cuts, I’m a medical student, I don’t know the reality of cuts in the way these people do. They were all really angry to hear that he was coming here for a PR stunt, because we know what cuts have done to our NHS.”

City protests – ‘racist’ and ‘homophobic’

Another significant time for Boris Johnson in Cambridge was during protests in Cambridge Market Square on December 14, 2019. Demonstrators gathered to protest against the Conservatives and Mr Johnson following his recent election.

Speakers at the event expressed their fear and concern after Johnson – branded by protesters as “racist and ‘homophobic” – led his party to a landslide victory. The protest was organised by Cambridge Stand Up to Racism, along with Love Music Hate Racism.

Demonstrators at the protests in Cambridge, December 14, 2019
Demonstrators at the protests in Cambridge, December 14, 2019

Roger Green, 73, convener of Stand up to Racism Cambridge, at the time said the election result was greatly disappointing. He previously said: “It’s a knockback for people that we’ve ended up with a racist prime minister.

“He describes black children as piccaninnies – now this is vicious stuff. It’s not a dog-whistle, it’s a wolf-whistle.

“He’s an out-and-out racist. He’s an islamophobe. It divides people. This is the worrying thing – once people are divided, the rich can get through even more austerity.

But, despite Johnson’s victory being the most decisive win for the Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher, Mr Green was keen to remain optimistic at the time. He said: “Look what happened with Margaret Thatcher. Eventually, they pressed down and they pressed down and people fought back.”

Jill Eastland, from the artists union, previously said she was concerned about the austerity and cuts the country could see over the next few years. She had said the average salary for an artist was only around £10,000 – but most earn much less, as the figure is dragged up by a few extremely high earners.

“I will never give up on kindness, justice and equality – not in my name,” she said.

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