The Prime Minister was “not quite on the verge of death as we were led to believe” when he was placed in intensive care in April last year, said Valérie Vaz.
Simon Clarke, a Tory MP, hit back immediately, saying, “It’s an amazing thing to say. Are you challenging the integrity of the Prime Minister?
“It is really wrong to ask how sick the Prime Minister was, he was in intensive care and very, very sick. We must not allow this to go without comment. “
Ms Vaz did not withdraw her claim, on the BBC Live Policy program, but partially backtracked admitting, “Honestly, I don’t know – I’m not her doctor.”
Mr Johnson spent three nights in intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in London due to ‘persistent’ coronavirus symptoms.
Dominic Raab, the foreign minister, was put in charge of leading the government and the prime minister was out of action for several weeks afterwards.
He was given oxygen, but was not placed on a ventilator, and he is believed to have remained conscious throughout his ordeal.
He named and thanked the nurses who had taken care of him, having stayed at his bedside for 48 hours “when things could have gone both ways”.
“The reason that ultimately my body started getting enough oxygen was because every second of the night they were looking and thinking, they were busy and doing the interventions that I needed. ‘needed,’ the prime minister said.
And his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, said: “There were times last week that were really, really dark. Today, I feel incredibly lucky.
Under pressure because of her allegation, Ms Vaz tried to divert attention from the discussion to Dominic Cummings, the ousted former chief aide now locked in a bitter war of words with Mr Johnson.
“People have died. We’re talking about Dominic Cummings testifying [on Wednesday], don’t you, ”she said.
“The problem was he was there. he will have made judgments with or without the Prime Minister of the time.
“He was the prime minister’s right hand, making important decisions. There are 27,000 people who have died. “
In a subsequent statement, Ms Vaz said: “I wish to clarify my words and apologize if a violation has been caused. I never intended to suggest that the Prime Minister was not seriously ill. “