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.

The prime minister was referring to an incident when he was confronted by Omar Salem, who accused him of attending an NHS hospital for a "press opportunity".

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.

Boris Johnson was confronted in Whipps Cross Hospital by Omar Salem. Credit: PA

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.

Mr Johnson has faced allegations around links to an American business woman while he was London mayor and from a journalist who has accused him of squeezing her thigh at private lunch 20 years ago.