PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson visited the home of The Northern Echo on Priestgate, Darlington, this afternoon after a day of campaigning in the North-East.

Mr Johnson arrived in the newsroom at just after 5pm, and greeted staff, before being interviewed by chief feature writer Chris Lloyd, and editor Hannah Chapman.

He was asked about the current state of the NHS, after The Northern Echo revealed a huge growth in waiting times for patients to get a bed once they have been admitted.

Mr Johnson, who began his career as a journalist, also pledged to support local newspapers, saying they were vital to our democracy. 

"We need local newspapers," he said, adding that reporting local councils was a vital function. 

"We’ve been talking about devolution of power and you can’t devolve power if you haven’t got a local newspaper to report what’s going on because you will get corruption and you need local newspapers if you are to have justice because if you don’t have local newspapers doing court reports then justice is not done as it is not seen to be done, so you’ve got to keep going."