Dominic Raab will take charge of the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis after the Prime Minister was transferred to intensive care.
Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care on Monday after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened during the afternoon.
The Conservative Party leader ceded control ‘where necessary’ to Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Mr Raab, who will deputise for the PM.
The developments follow repeated questions to Downing Street about how the PM was ill enough to be allotted a hospital bed but deemed fine to lead the Government.
Mr Raab’s first job as stand-in PM on Tuesday will be to lead the Government’s emergency daily coronavirus “war Cabinet” meeting with senior colleagues and the UK’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
He has vowed to follow the “direction” set by the PM for tackling the deadly virus, although admitted at the Number 10 press briefing that the pair last spoke on Saturday.
Mr Johnson was moved to intensive care at about 7pm on Monday and was understood to be conscious but moved as a precaution should he require a ventilator.
The 55-year-old had been admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in central London on Sunday evening after testing positive for coronavirus 10 days previously.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen was being kept informed by Downing Street about the condition of Mr Johnson – the 14th prime minister of her reign.
In a statement recorded after Mr Johnson’s admission, Mr Raab said: “The Government’s business will continue.
“The Prime Minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital, and the focus of the Government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister’s direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward.”
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