Boris Johnson insists government 'cares desperately' about children’s mental health

Watch ITV News Central’s Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie interview with the Prime Minister

Boris Johnson has insisted his government 'cares desperately' about children's mental health.

In an interview with ITV Central's Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, he said £70m is being made available to improve the situation.

The issues raised by ITV Central follow our ongoing special investigation into child mental health provision in the Midlands.

Hundreds of parents have told us how they've struggled to get help for their children, even in the most serious cases - and healthcare professionals and teachers continue to warn of a crisis in the sector. 

He added his Government has appointed Love Island star Dr Alex George as a mental health ambassador, who "really understands the issues and is helping to lead our work." Though the role is unpaid.

'The PM cannot dispute the evidence uncovered in our special report': Analysis from ITV News Central Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie

The Prime Minister can produce figures and sympathy but what he cannot do is dispute the evidence uncovered in our special report - a staggering number of families are coming up against a brick wall when they reach out for help. 

It is a problem that has been allowed to build up over many years. While there is now much talk of valuing the importance of mental health as being on a par with physical health - the harsh reality for the families is very different.

The Prime Minister appeared to give us his reassurance that he cares very deeply for those seeking help.

He has pledged an extra £70 million pounds to improve services. The test now is whether that money will transform into action.

In a wide-ranging interview with ITV Central, the PM was quizzed on the likelihood that the Eastern leg of the HS2 line would be built.

His response was Midlanders would have to "wait and see."