Dominic Raab to chair COVID-19 meetings as Boris Johnson spends night in hospital

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

De facto deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is expected to chair the daily Covid-19 meeting after Boris Johnson spent a night in hospital.

Johnson 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.

The prime minister, 55, tested positive for the virus 10 days ago, and has been in self-isolation inside his Downing Street flat since.

His persistent symptoms are understood to include a high temperature, and it was considered sensible for doctors to see the PM in person.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: 'On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests.

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'This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

'The prime minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the government's advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.'

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Johnson remains 'in charge of the government' and in contact with ministerial colleagues and officials despite his hospital admission, a spokesman said.

But it is Raab who will lead meetings on Monday while Johnson remains away from the office, with Tuesday's cabinet meeting has been postponed.

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Johnson's pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds said on Saturday that she was 'on the mend' after spending a week in bed after also suffering coronavirus symptoms.

The 32-year-old, who is expecting the couple's baby in early summer, has been self-isolating in Camberwell, south London, with the couple's dog Dilyn.

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