Catford audience boos 'coward' Boris Johnson over Lewisham Hospital

News Shopper: Catford audience boos 'coward' Boris Johnson over Lewisham Hospital Catford audience boos 'coward' Boris Johnson over Lewisham Hospital

BORIS Johnson was booed, heckled and branded a coward as he faced a hostile audience of around 800 people in Catford last night.

The Mayor of London was at the Broadway Theatre along with London Assembly members for a 'people's question time' and, despite agenda items on policing, transport and housing, Lewisham Hospital dominated the discussion.

A rattled Mr Johnson, who repeatedly refused to back the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, was roundly booed from the outset, jeered when he responded to questions on the subject and heckled when he tried some of his trademark humour.

Consultant paediatrician Tony O’Sullivan asked: "How can he sleep at night when two of the most deprived boroughs in the whole of England, that's Lewisham and Greenwich, of 50,000 people are going to be deprived of a fantastic hospital?"

Campaigner Dr Louise Irvine asked: "Will you be pressing Jeremy Hunt to reverse his decision? Will you declare your support for the save Lewisham Hospital campaign?"

Another questioner challenged him on his 2008 manifesto, saying he claimed "extra minutes in an ambulance could make all the difference between life and death".

Even when questions turned to the economy, one woman asked: "Have you ever come across a business which closes down one of its best performing outlets which is what we feel is happening with Lewisham Hospital?"

The mayor, who reluctantly pledged to meet with campaigners, told the audience: "What I can't contradict is the expert opinion of clinicians who say that they are actuated by a desire to improve clinical outcomes."

He added: "I'm told that the reforms that are proposed  just in respect of this area could save in the region of 100 lives."

Campaigners, who say the 100 lives claim has no clinical evidence to back it up, dismissed his comments as "rubbish".

One GP said the mayor was ignoring his responsibility for health and equalities, saying: "You are a coward."

An angered Mr Johnson shot back that to support the campaign because of a "fusillade of abuse" would be "the act of the coward and the demagogue".

News Shopper: George Hallam from People Before Profit

Boris on trains and fairground rides

Boris Johnson was asked about proposals for Transport for London to take control of train companies like Southeastern along with plans to extend the Bakerloo Line  to Lewisham.

Mr Johnson, who had travelled to the venue via train, was asked by Forest Hill Society chairman Michael Abrahams about bringing the Bakerloo and DLR to south east London.

On taking over the railways, he said: "We're seeing good progress. I hope very much to have something more to say to you before the end of the summer."

And he also suggested the Bakerloo extension could go ahead in the future.

The mayor was later challenged over pollution that could be caused by the proposed Silvertown Tunnel at Greenwich peninsula, while Steve Nelson from the South East London Chamber of Commerce dismissed the cable car as a "fairground ride".

Mr Johnson said: "I think everybody who slags off the cable car should stop."

Comments (6)

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12:34pm Fri 8 Mar 13

banjo8 says...

He's always been a large bag of hot air. BoJo has always flattered to decieve. He's done nothing for the people of London and everything for himself. Chances are though, he'll end up running the country one day.
He's always been a large bag of hot air. BoJo has always flattered to decieve. He's done nothing for the people of London and everything for himself. Chances are though, he'll end up running the country one day. banjo8
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Margaret Smith says...

Great to see so many Lewisham residents giving Boris a bad time.
whilst it is easy to only think about the hospital, Ray Woolford from Lewisham People Before Profit was really good on Housing, Low Pay, PFI and tax evasion, whilst One GLA member reminded the pavked crowed that it was Labour who embraced the PFI agenda that lead to this mess, and as local residents we should challenge Labour on this.
Great to see so many Lewisham residents giving Boris a bad time. whilst it is easy to only think about the hospital, Ray Woolford from Lewisham People Before Profit was really good on Housing, Low Pay, PFI and tax evasion, whilst One GLA member reminded the pavked crowed that it was Labour who embraced the PFI agenda that lead to this mess, and as local residents we should challenge Labour on this. Margaret Smith
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Sat 9 Mar 13

nearly right all the time says...

Old Etonian, Bullingham club member,
estwhile TV baffoon, running London!

We get what we deserve!

Hislop/Merton have to be held to account!

Running around telling everybody how great the Olympics was, meanwhile we are closing Firestations and A&Es

Total Mess!
Old Etonian, Bullingham club member, estwhile TV baffoon, running London! We get what we deserve! Hislop/Merton have to be held to account! Running around telling everybody how great the Olympics was, meanwhile we are closing Firestations and A&Es Total Mess! nearly right all the time
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Linja says...

Hopefully Londoners will now see that he isn't fit to run a bath let alone London. A well-educated buffoon who is only interested in what he in interested in, where has the money (nearly a £billion) appeared from to have a cycle way from east to west London come from yet Hospital, Fire Stations. Police Stations are closing and the work force being cut?
Hopefully Londoners will now see that he isn't fit to run a bath let alone London. A well-educated buffoon who is only interested in what he in interested in, where has the money (nearly a £billion) appeared from to have a cycle way from east to west London come from yet Hospital, Fire Stations. Police Stations are closing and the work force being cut? Linja
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Mon 11 Mar 13

Linja says...

To the chap in the photo with the sign on his head - the QE2 Hospital is a little over 5miles away from Lewisham Hosp (nearer as the crow flies) so wouldn't take over an hour to get there but still too far if on needs urgent treatment and one lives in and around the Lewisham area.
To the chap in the photo with the sign on his head - the QE2 Hospital is a little over 5miles away from Lewisham Hosp (nearer as the crow flies) so wouldn't take over an hour to get there but still too far if on needs urgent treatment and one lives in and around the Lewisham area. Linja
  • Score: 0

9:56am Sat 16 Mar 13

rescaaffering oldey says...

...tory posh boy boris got your votes... typical tory - get elected then support cuts that will hurt the community... never trust a tory.
...tory posh boy boris got your votes... typical tory - get elected then support cuts that will hurt the community... never trust a tory. rescaaffering oldey
  • Score: 0

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