HUMZA Yousaf has accused the Prime Minister of being irresponsible after he was photographed without a facemask while on a visit to a hospital.

Boris Johnson visited a hospitall in Northumberland yesterday to see how staff were coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

However in a series of images, he was pictured not wearing a face mask while standing with masked-up medical staff.

He was also seen 'elbow bumping' with staff, yet not wearing a face covering. 

Critics have accused the Prime Minister of negligence, including Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf who said he was "gobsmacked".

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In an angry tweet this morning, Mr Yousaf said: "Gobsmacked at that picture of PM strutting around a hospital without a mask.

"The level of irresponsibility is astounding.

"We know masks protect others, why would you deliberately choose not to wear one when meeting health care workers?

"Just a complete & utter lack of leadership."

Dominic Raab was asked about the images during morinng interview rounds, in which he defended his boss and said he was "following all protocols".

He was read the guidance from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital.

The guidance stated: "Anyone attending our hospitals and community settings must continue to wear a face covering at all times to protect patients, visitors and staff."

Mr Raab responded: “I know the Prime Minister took the advice on the clinical setting that he was in and followed all the protocols and procedures that were applied there, and that’s what everyone should do.”

Asked about the guidance specifically and whether that meant Mr Johnson was not following the rules, Mr Raab said: “No, precisely because, as you said, in the settings where it was required he did wear a mask."

HeraldScotland: Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with medical staff during a visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland. Monday November 8, 2021.Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with medical staff during a visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland. Monday November 8, 2021.

However, ITV Good Morning Britain contributor Dr Hilary Jones said it was “ridiculous” that the Prime Minister failed to set an example.

“He should have been wearing a mask. He should have been setting an example, especially in a hospital when today’s headlines scream 11,000 people caught Covid in a hospital.

“It’s ridiculous. Nobody had the guts to say ‘Prime Minister, put a mask on or you can’t come in.’ That’s what should have happened.”

In a statement posted on social media, the NHS trust said Mr Johnson had worn a face covering in each of the clinical areas he visited.

“Please be assured that infection prevention and control remains an utmost priority for our trust,” it said.

“The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, followed strict measures, including wearing a mask, in each clinical area he visited.”