Boris Johnson has said he was "confused" when he told a parent of a sick child "there's no press here" during a hospital visit in London.
Mr Johnson told the parent members of the press were not present for the visit, before Mr Salem gestured to cameras filming and said: "What do you mean there's no press here, who are these people?"
Mr Johnson has now addressed the incident, which quickly became polarising when Mr Salem was revealed to be a Labour activist.
"This gentleman I think his daughter had been in overnight and he was very agitated, and I understand it completely and I'd been told it was a non-press visit," the prime minister said.
When asked by ITV News Correspondent Simon Harris if he could see the filming cameras, Mr Johnson said: "I'm sorry but I got confused about the press.
"I was told I wasn't going to be talking to the press and that was the reason for the confusion."
He was talking to ITV News at the Tory Party conference, which has been marred by allegations against the prime minister.