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Sun, 5 April 2020

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Dominic Raab to become acting PM if Boris Johnson gets ill, No 10 confirms

Dominic Raab to become acting PM if Boris Johnson gets ill, No 10 confirms

Dominic Raab would take over in the event Boris Johnson becomes unwell

2 min read

Dominic Raab will take charge as acting Prime Minister should Boris Johnson fall ill during the coronavirus outbreak, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Foreign Secretary has been appointed as the so-called "designated survivor" meaning he will be first in line to replace Boris Johnson should he be unable to fufill his duties as Prime Minister.

The emergency plans have been drawn up to ensure government can continue to tackle the outbreak even in the event Mr Johnson is struck down with the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister's official spokesperson said Mr Johnson was currently "well".

But, asked who would take the reins, said: "The Foreign Secretary [would take over]. The Foreign Secretary is the First Secretary of State."

Pressed for further details on the line of succession, the spokesperson added: "The Prime Minister has the power to designate responsibilites to any of his ministers.

"But now it's the Prime Minister and then the Foreign Secretary."

It comes after MPs sought more information on the Government's plans after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to self-isolate when his wife began showing symptoms.

Meanwhile, on Sunday German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she too would be entering isolation after learning her doctor who had given her a precautionary vaccination against pneumonia on Friday had tested positive for Covid-19.

Speaking on Sunday, Tory MP Peter Bone said: "Nobody seems to be able to tell me what happens if the Prime Minister is incapacitated.

"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 Secretary and the cabinet minister[s] arguing about who's in charge."

The spokesperson also confirmed Tuesday's Cabinet meeting will go ahead as planned - but with many ministers taking part by video call to ensure social distancing between the PM's top team.

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