Boris Johnson news – latest: PM spends night in intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen, as Dominic Raab steps up

    Boris Johnson news – latest: PM spends night in intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen, as Dominic Raab steps up

    Boris Johnson remains in intensive care at St Thomas’ hospital in London on Tuesday morning but he has not required a ventilator, the Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said.

    Mr Gove, who described foreign secretary Dominic Raab as “the person who is running the country”, is now self-isolating at home after a member of his family began to display symptoms of the coronavirus.

    World leaders have sent message of support to Mr Johnson. There was “no change” in the prime minister’s condition overnight, sources close to him said after he was given oxygen and moved into ICU on Monday following a deterioration in his symptoms.

    Download the new Independent Premium app

    Sharing the full story, not just the headlines


    Staff members at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, have sent a “get well soon” message to the prime minister as he continues to battle coronavirus.


    Vladimir Putin sends PM message of support

    The Russian leader said Boris Johnson’s “energy, optimism, and sense of humour” will help him beat his illness, according to The Telegraph’s Roland Oliphant.


    Gove feeling well at home

    More on Michael Gove following news he is self-isolating due to a family member displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.

    The senior Tory is understood to be feeling well and will continue to work from home as normal, as ministers scramble to steady the ship after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care on Monday night.

    Our correspondent Lizzy Buchan has more:


    ‘Johnson’s case is special’

    The role the prime minister fulfils is not easily replaced by an acting stand-in, says our associate editor Sean O’Grady.

    “In one sense Boris Johnson is  just one of the very many people currently suffering, grievously so, from the terrible disease of Covid-19,” he writes.

    “Many others are on intensive care wards just like he; they too have families and loved ones. They too deserve best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery – and they have them, gladly given.

    “Does the prime minister’s case deserve special treatment? Yes, simply because of the position he holds.”


    Read more here:


    I’m working as normal from home, says Gove


    Scotland Yard sends ‘thoughts and prayers’

    Speaking about Boris Johnson’s health, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said: “It was shocking news to hear about the prime minister.

    “I and the whole of the Met send our thoughts and our prayers to him and his family. Let’s hope he is fighting fit soon.”


    Michael Gove self-isolating

    The Cabinet Office Michael Gove, who has been giving interviews about Boris Johnson’s condition this morning, is now isolating at home after a member of his family began to display symptoms of the coronavirus.

    More details on this breaking story as we get them.


    Labour will ‘act in national interest’, says Keir Starmer

    The new Labour party leader said he had spoken to foreign secretary Dominic Raab, now de facto leader of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, last night.

    “I know I speak on behalf of the whole country when I say our thoughts are with the prime minister, his fiancée and his family,” he told the BBC.

    “I was in touch with the foreign secretary last night, and I want to say that the Labour party will act in the national interest.”

    “That’s why I have offered to act constructively with the government and support them where that’s the right thing to do, and push them further where we need to do it.”


    Uncertainty could risk security, warns former defence minister

    Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more details now on the national security concerns raised by former defence minister Tobias Ellwood, the leading Tory MP who has called for “100 per cent clarity” on who is making decisions.

    Asked where power lay if the UK suffered a nuclear attack, Cabinet Office minister Gove said earlier: “I simply can’t talk about national security matters. There are well developed protocols which are in place and which have been tested robustly over time.”


    Faith leaders offer message of support

    Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “The news that our prime minister has been moved to intensive care deepens our compassion for all who are seriously ill and for those caring for them. I invite all people of faith to join me in praying for Boris Johnson and his loved ones.”

    Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi, said: “May Almighty God bless our prime minister as he battles against Covid-19 in hospital. May he be strengthened and granted a swift and complete recovery, together with all those who continue to suffer at the hands of this terrible virus.”

    Harun Khan, the secretary general of Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Saddened to hear that our prime minister Boris Johnson has been taken into intensive care. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones, wishing him a speedy recovery. We know he will receive the best care and attention from our world class.”


    Queen hails ‘selfless commitment’ of healthcare workers

    Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth had been kept informed of Boris Johnson’s condition in intensive care by Downing Street.

    Her Majesty has shared a message to healthcare professionals across the globe for World Health Day.


    South Korean president ‘struck’ by news about PM

    Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, has tweeted about his shock at hearing about Boris Johnson’s condition – recalling he had been “in good shape only a couple of weeks earlier at the virtual summit among G20 leaders”.

    “I send my best wishes for your speedy recovery. I also hope that the situation with Covid-19 in the United Kingdom improves quickly, and I look forward to meeting you in the near future.”


    Coronavirus ‘no respecter of persons or place’, says Welsh first minister

    The first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said he sends “our very best wishes” to Boris Johnson and his family.

    He was also asked about Jitendra Rathod, an associate specialist in cardio-thoracic surgery at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, who died after testing positive for Covid-19.

    Mr Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: “Desperately sad news. A very senior and very highly regarded doctor here in Wales.”

    He added: “And it just tells us, doesn’t it, this virus is no respecter of persons, or place, which is why it is so important we all do absolutely everything we can to protect one another from its impact.”


    PM ‘awake’ on Monday evening, says former press secretary

    Boris Johnson’s friend and former press secretary, Will Walden, has been speaking to Sky News about the latest on his condition in hospital.

    “As of yesterday evening he was awake, he was conscious, he was able to delegate authority to Dominic Raab and he’s in really, really good hands,” said Mr Walden.

    “The prime minister is a really, really strong guy, both physically and mentally. He’s pretty fit, he plays tennis, he runs, he doesn’t smoke, he drinks moderately. He’s far fitter than he looks.

    “If anyone stands a chance against this awful virus, it’s the Boris Johnson I know.”


    ‘Alarming moment’, says Scottish Tory leader

    The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has said Boris Johnson is a “fighter” who will be incredibly frustrated during his time in hospital.

    Jackson Carlaw told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “It’s an alarming moment. He is a strong, physical, robust man but, as we know, this virus is no respecter of anybody.”

    He said he has been in touch with Scottish secretary Alister Jack but there were no further updates on the Mr Johnson’s condition.

    Asked how Mr Johnson would be coping with the situation, Mr Carlaw said: “I think he must be enormously frustrated.

    “We all see him as a hugely ebullient and robust personality, somebody who will have been absolutely determined last week to lead from the front.

    “It’s very difficult just to rest and yet, impossibly, resting a little more might have been of benefit. But he’s a fighter so I fully expect that’s exactly what he’ll be doing just now.”


    Chain of command clear, says chief of the defence staff

    General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said all the thoughts and prayers of the armed forces are with the prime minister as he remains in intensive care in hospital.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We wish him well for a very, very speedy recovery.”

    Asked if there is a clear chain of command for the armed forces in such a situation, Sir Nick replied: “Yes, it’s very clear I think. We work straight through to the prime minister but of course there’s the National Security Council (NSC) that’s wrapped around him and formed of many of the Cabinet ministers and supported by the national security adviser.

    “I think on that basis we’re pretty confident it’s business as usual as far as the operations are concerned.”

    Sir Nick said he believed Mr Raab would chair the NSC and be supported by others.


    What Dominic Raab needs to do now

    The foreign secretary – now officially standing in for the prime minister – has to reassure the nation he has a firm grip on the government’s response to coronavirus, writes our chief political commentator John Rentoul.


    Raab’s position ‘very difficult’, says Lord Heseltine

    Lord Heseltine, who served as deputy prime minister under Sir John Major, has described Boris Johnson being taken into intensive care as “a shattering development.”

    He added on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He has his own personal problems, which we have huge sympathy, he has a fiancee who has symptoms as well. People don’t deserve bad luck like that.”

    Lord Heseltine said there “isn’t a clarity” about what Mr Raab can do as he fills in for the PM, noting: “I was deputy prime minister but I was never prime minister, if you know what I mean.

    “In other words, John Major was always in good health and in touch so the questions never really arose.

    “There must come a time when a deputy is effectively prime minister, I don’t think we’ve probably quite got to that now but the present urgency of the situation and the potential decisions that may need to be taken quickly does mean that Dominic Raab will have to use his discretion and know when to act.

    “This is a very difficult thing to do because he will be surrounded by lots of people who know what Boris Johnson said, believe Boris will be quickly back and have their own personal agendas anyway, so it’s a very difficult personal position and the man will be tested by the loneliness of the job.”


    What the international press is saying

    News worsening health in his personal battle against the coronavirus dominates UK front pages this morning – and provoked concern from media around the world.

    CNN reported that his sickness had “shocked the nation”, while The New York Times said Britain had been “plunged into a harrowing new phase in its struggle against the coronavirus”.

    In Italy, the La Repubblica newspaper stated: “Now it is no longer a mystery: Boris Johnson’s condition is serious.”


    Conrad Duncan has more details:


    Top Tory MP calls for more ‘clarity’ on national security

    Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP who chairs the Commons’ defence committee, has called for “100 per cent clarity” on who is now responsible for national security decisions.

    It follows comments by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who earlier described foreign secretary Dominic Raab “the person who is running the country”.

    But when asked who now had the authority to press the nuclear button if the UK came under attack, Mr Gove replied: “I simply can’t talk about national security matters.”

    The latest news on Brexit, politics and beyond direct to your inbox

    Read More


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here