Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the Prime Minister, will not be asked to brief The Queen with the latest developments in the UK. In normal circumstances the 93-year-old would hold an audience with the Prime Minister every Wednesday from inside Buckingham Palace. Mr Johnson who is the 14th Prime Minister of her reign had been holding the strictly confidential discussions by telephone since the coronavirus pandemic began.
In her role as Head of State, the Queen is able to advise and warn her ministers when she deems necessary.
Instead Downing Street has said the Queen, who is staying in Windsor, will be kept up to date by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill and Mr Johnson’s private secretary.
Number 10 said: “Buckingham Palace and Her Majesty the Queen have been kept regularly informed about the Prime Minister’s condition and that will continue.
“The Cabinet Secretary and the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary will continue their contacts with the Royal Household on the Prime Minister’s behalf.”
Asked whether Mr Raab would field any phone calls with the Queen, the spokesman added: “No, it has been agreed with the Royal Household that weekly audiences will not go ahead.”
In a statement Downing Street confirmed Mr Johnson remains as Prime Minister but Mr Raab would chair any necessary meetings and the cabinet would take any decisions on national security.
At the daily coronavirus press conference Mr Raab gave a health update on the Prime Minister and said Mr Johnson remains in “good spirits”.
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Mr Raab also confirmed the 55-year-old is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any assistance.
The Foreign Secretary added the Cabinet has been given “very clear instructions” from the Prime Minister of how to tackle the fight against COVID-19.
He said: “Well first of all, decision making by Government is made by collective Cabinet responsibilities, so that is the same as before.
“But we’ve got very clear directions, very clear instructions from the Prime Minister, and we’re focused with total unity and total resolve on implementing them so that when he’s back, I hope in very short order, we will have made the progress that he would expect and that the country would expect.”
Earlier this afternoon Buckingham Palace confirmed The Queen sent a message to Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds and the Prime Minister’s family, saying her thoughts are with them and that she wishes him a full and speedy recovery.
The Duke of Cambridge has also tweeted a personal message via the Kensington Palace Twitter account and signed it off with his initial “W”.
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He said: “Our thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family, who like so many in the UK and around the world are affected by coronavirus.
“We wish him a speedy recovery at this difficult time. W.”
Coronavirus deaths in the UK have increased by 786 in the past 24 hours taking the total number of COVID-19 fatalities above 6,000.
The Department for Health has confirmed as of 5pm on Monday the total number of coronavirus deaths stands at 6,159 an increase from 5,373 on the previous day.
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