Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones has hit out at Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister was pictured not wearing a mask while visiting a hospital.

GMB’s resident medical expert criticised Johnson during a discussion with Susanna Reid on the ITV breakfast show.

Boris Johnson visited Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland on Monday to reinforce the Government’s messaging behind persuading more vulnerable and older people to take up the offer of a Covid booster jab.

During the visit, pictures showed him going about the hospital without a face covering – while wearing a mask at other times.

In photos where he is without a mask, Johnson is seen elbow-bumping and greeting nurses who are wearing disposable face coverings.

The National: Boris Johnson was photographed with and without a face mask on during his hospital visit on Monday (Peter Summers/PA)Boris Johnson was photographed with and without a face mask on during his hospital visit on Monday (Peter Summers/PA)

Susanna said: “We know the rules around wearing face masks indoors are starting to loosen up ... We don’t have to wear a mask anymore inside, but surely in a clinical setting like a hospital?

Dr Hilary replied: "Yes. Absolutely. He should be setting an example.

"He is in a hospital."

He added: "He should be wearing a mask especially in a hospital - with newspaper headlines today showing 11,000 people died having caught Covid in hospital.

"And nobody had the common sense to say 'Prime Minister, put a face mask on or you cannot come in'... that is what should have happened."

He went on to describe the situation as “ridiculous”.

Labour’s shadow health secretary linked the mask-less images to Johnson’s decision not to return from the visit in time to take part in a Commons debate on parliamentary standards after his Government U-turned last week on its move to rip up the current probe system to investigate MP wrongdoing.

Jonathan Ashworth said on Twitter: “So not only is Boris Johnson too cowardly to turn up to Parliament to defend the sleazy corrupt government shenanigans of recent days.

“He’s now irresponsibly parading round a hospital without a mask. Patients and NHS staff deserve better than this.”

However, Downing Street and the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hexham General, defended the Prime Minister following the visit.

Downing Street and NHS defend Boris Johnson

The National: Northumbria NHS defend Boris Johnson. (PA)Northumbria NHS defend Boris Johnson. (PA) Replying to a complaint about Johnson appearing without a mask in a photo, Northumbria NHS said on social media: “Please be assured that infection prevention and control remains an utmost priority for our trust.

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

According to guidance published on the trust’s website, it recommends that visitors wash their hands at the hospital entrance and “wear a face covering when you enter the hospital until you leave.”