Tuesday, November 30

Who runs country while PM isolates?



Boris Johnson has entered isolation after testing positive for coronavirus. Number 10 revealed he had been tested last night after experiencing mild symptoms on the personal advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

And they say the PM is still continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus. But he’ll be self-isolating in Number 10 as per the government guidance.

But it leaves the question if the Prime Minister is off sick with coronavirus, who’s running the country?

Here’s what we know and what we don’t know about who’s in charge while Johnson is in quarantine.

Who’s in charge?

Number 10 say Boris Johnson is still doing his job in self-isolation. When the Prime Minister is away or unable to perform his duties, the First Minister usually takes over for them.

Currently, the first minister is the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab. So while Number 10 say Johnson is still leading from inside his quarantine if there’s anything the PM can’t physically do, Raab would take over.

What about other departments?

Other ministers and secretaries of state will keep running their own departments.

Is everyone happy about this situation?

For example, Tory MP Peter Bone has been asking for a strict line of succession to be written into law for almost a decade now.

Earlier this month he called on the government to back his Bill so it could be in place in case the PM falls ill with coronavirus.

Nobody seems to be able to tell me what happens if the Prime Minister is incapacitated, Mr Bone told the Mirror.

Maybe there’s a letter somewhere that says who’s in charge. He added: “In a national emergency, you don’t want to be scrabbling around worrying about who’s in charge.

And you don’t want the Foreign Secretary and the Cabinet Office Minister arguing about who’s in charge.

Mr Bone has a private members’ bill progressing through the Commons but it’s unlikely to progress without the backing of the government.