Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been put in charge of running the government “where necessary” after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care for coronavirus treatment.
As the First Secretary of State, Mr Raab has taken up the role of “de facto” deputy Prime Minister and will carry out duties such as leading the Cabinet’s daily emergency Covid-19 conference call.
He is also expected, according to the Institute for Government, to be handed Mr Johnson’s Red Box of daily briefing papers as he looks to continue the plan of action set by the Prime Minister for dealing with the pandemic.
Mr Raab’s former special advisor Nick de Bois said he is up to the job, telling talkRADIO’s Mike Graham he was “no lightweight”.
Praising his former colleague, Mr de Bois said: “He’s extremely intelligent, he’s got this very cool head and he has this wonderful stubborn optimism.
“He and Boris Johnson, although they present as very different characters, they have this shared optimism which I think is absolutely marvellous.
He continued: “He’s a tough cookie but his capacity for work, coupled with basically his forensic mind and this ability to digest and respond to a brief very effectively, I think is remarkable.”
Meanwhile, former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith told talkkRADIO that big decisions will still be made “collectively” in Mr Johnson’s absence.
“The public should not feel overly concerned,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.
“Whilst Boris is not able to take the reins of power for the moment, he has a very clear deputy in Dominic Raab and we have a Cabinet form of government, collegiate, so it’s about essentially coming to conclusions collectively and being steered by the leader.”
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