Boris Johnson ‘almost took one for the team’ over the coronavirus, and will now need a period of rest, his dad has said.
Stanley Johnson said the whole family is ‘amazingly grateful’ for the efforts of the NHS and for the huge outpouring of support for his son, and played down suggestions that the prime minister will quickly return to work at Number 10, saying he ‘has to take time’.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Johnson Snr said his son’s illness had underlined the seriousness of the pandemic.
‘To use that American expression, he almost took one for the team. We have got to make sure we play the game properly now,’ he said.
‘This is pretty straightforward now,’ he went on.
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‘He must rest up. As I understand it, he has moved from the ICU into a recovery unit but I don’t think you can say this is out of the woods now.
‘He has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment.’
Johnson Senior’s comments are likely to be taken as a further indication that foreign secretary Dominic Raab will continue to deputise for the PM in the coming days.
The PM was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening for tests due to suffering continuing symptoms of Covid-19, having tested positive for the virus 10 days earlier.
He now appears to be on the road to recovery, with Downing Street saying that he has left intensive care and is being closely monitored.