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Government draws up plans for if Boris Johnson catches coronavirus

Raab would take over from Boris
Boris Johnson would be replaced by Dominic Raab if he falls ill (Picture: Reuters/EPA)

The Foreign Secretary would lead the country if Boris Johnson became unwell during the coronavirus crisis. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed that Dominic Raab would stand in were the PM to get sick.

The spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister is well… the Foreign Secretary is the First Secretary of State.’

If Mr Raab was also ill, the PM has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers, the spokesman added. It comes amid reported ‘lobbying’ for Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to temporarily take over as a stand-in prime minister if needed or if he takes paternity leave when his child is born later this year. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street, London, Britain March 19, 2020. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Mr Johnson is also due to go on paternity leave when his baby is born (Picture: Reuters)
epa08315438 British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab after attending a meeting at 10 Downing Street, Central London, Britain, 23 March 2020. The British government has urged the public to continue to practise public distancing in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. EPA/WILL OLIVER
Foreign Secretary Mr Raab stood against Mr Johnson in the race to become PM (Picture: EPA)

According to The Sunday Times, there have been ‘tensions’ between Mr Gove and the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, ‘over where responsibilities begin and end’. 

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Mr Gove, Mr Hancock and Mr Raab all stood in the Conservative leadership election to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

For the latest coronavirus updates and coverage in the UK and around the world click here.

Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live.

In another development at the heart of government, Number 10 has said a ‘significant number’ of Mr Johnson’s senior ministers will dial in remotely to the weekly Cabinet meeting today.

The PM’s spokesman said: ‘I would expect that now and for the foreseeable future a very significant number of Cabinet ministers will take part by dialling in or via video conferencing.’

Meanwhile, Downing Street says that the Government will now be ramping up its public information campaign.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman added: ‘We have been conducting an extensive public information campaign on social distancing measures.

‘I think you could expect much more information to be made available to the public in the coming days as well.’

For the latest coronavirus updates and coverage in the UK and around the world click here.

Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live.

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Source: Metro News UK

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