Boris Johnson set to avoid Downing Street press conference

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVI

Prime minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson is set to avoid the latest Downing Street press conference following reports of in-fighting at the heart of his administration.

There had been planned to be an update on coronavirus on Thursday afternoon, but it will be left to business secretary Alok Sharma to update the nation.

He will be joined by NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis.

Despite the absence, Johnson's official spokesperson insisted that he was "absolutely focused" on the pandemic.

The spokesman said: “The prime minister is fully focused on tackling coronavirus.

“I think you can see the progress that we’re making in terms of rolling out mass testing, in securing vaccines and also in terms of making improvements to things such as test and trace.

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“So, I think what you can see is the prime minister is absolutely focused on beating this virus and taking the measures that are necessary to get that R rate down and bring the infection rate back under control.”

The press conference will take place at 5pm, but is not expected to be carried by BBC One as a result of Johnson's absence. 

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