07 April 2020

The PM is not just our boss, he's our friend: emotional tribute to Boris Johnson from stand-in Dominic Raab

Boris Johnson's deputy, Dominic Raab, gave a personal and touching tribute as he updated the nation on the Prime Minister's condition at today's coronavirus briefing.

The Foreign Secretary said Mr Johnson 'remains in good spirits' and he was confident he would 'pull through' to be back at work 'in short order'.

He said: "As will be the case for many people up and down the country who know someone at work who has fallen ill with coronavirus, it is a shock to all of us.

"He is not just the Prime Minister. For all of us in cabinet, he is not just our boss.

"He is also a colleague and he is also our friend. So all our thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister at this time, with Carrie [Symonds] and his whole family.

"And I'm confident he will pull through because if there is one thing that I know about this Prime Minister, he is a fighter and he will be back leading us through this crisis in short order."

Mr Raab said the Prime Minister was breathing without assistance, although he has received oxygen support.

Returning to his role in the Prime Minister's absence, he said he and his fellow cabinet ministers "will not blink or flinch" in the battle against COVID-19.

And he added they had "very clear directions, very clear instructions" from the Prime Minister.

At the briefing, the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the UK 'might be moving in the right direction' in terms of the number of new coronavirus cases.

"It's possible that we're beginning to see the beginning of change in terms of the curve flattening a little bit," he said. "We won't know that for sure for a week or so."

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