Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said Boris Johnson “remains in charge of the government” after he spent the night in hospital.
The Prime Minister was admitted for tests last night as his coronavirus symptoms continue to persist, 10 days after he tested positive of Covid-19.
He will stay for “as long as needed” in the London NHS hospital, where he was taken as a “precautionary step” on the advice of his doctor - rather than as an emergency.
Mr Johnson tweeted this afternoon that he was in “good spirits” and was “keeping in touch” with his team.
In his absence, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the de facto deputy Prime Minister, led the daily coronavirus meeting this morning.
But Mr Jenrick said there is no sign yet of Mr Raab stepping into Mr Johnson’s shoes full time.
He told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “[Mr Johnson] remains in charge of the government, he’s gone into hospital for these routine tests, he will continue to be updated and of course all of us look forward to him being back in Number 10 as soon as possible.”
He added: “I know the Prime Minister will want to get back to work at Number 10 as quickly as possible.”
The news of Mr Johnson’s hospital admission came just one hour after the Queen delivered a rare televised message of hope to the nation, saying “we will overcome” the coronavirus crisis if we “remain united and resolute”.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said Mr Johnson “thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work” and urged the public to continue to follow the government’s advice to stay at home.
US President Donald Trump was among the well-wishers, starting Sunday night’s White House press briefing by saying Mr Johnson was “a great friend of mine” and adding: “I'm sure he is going to be fine, he’s a strong man, a strong person.”
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