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With Johnson out of action, who is running Britain?

Published : Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 157

With Johnson out of action, who is running Britain?

With Johnson out of action, who is running Britain?

LONDON, Apr 7: With British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care in hospital with coronavirus, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stepped in -- but he will not have the same power.
Here are some of the key questions about who is now running Britain during this crisis.
Who is in charge?
Before he was admitted to intensive care on Monday evening, Johnson asked Raab, whose other job title is First Secretary of State, "to deputise for him where necessary", a Downing Street spokesman said.
Raab had already chaired the government's daily coronavirus briefing on Monday after Johnson was first admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday night. Raab took charge again on Tuesday morning.
He is expected to receive Johnson's daily briefing papers in his 'red box' for official dispatches, according to the Institute for Government (IfG) think tank.
He will also coordinate the work of other ministers who chair cabinet sub-committees dealing with specific areas of coronavirus, such as the healthcare response and efforts to support businesses.
Will Britain's response to coronavirus change?
Raab challenged Johnson for the leadership of their Conservative party last year, but on Monday evening insisted he would follow his boss's plan to tackle COVID-19.
"The focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the prime minister's direction... will be taken forward," he said.
Britain has been in lockdown since March 23, with the public told to stay at home wherever possible and most shops and services closed.
However, these measures are up for review next week -- a big decision.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the decision would not be delayed but would be taken "collectively as a cabinet", with Raab having the final say if Johnson is not able to make the call.
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the House of Commons defence committee -- which acts as a watchdog -- warned Britain must be ready for "adversaries attempting to exploit any perceived weakness" while Johnson is in hospital.    -AFP









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