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Dominic Raab was named Boris Johnson’s successor while he had Covid-19 | Politics | News




In April, the prime minister tested positive for the deadly virus and was rushed to an intensive care unit where he recovered. But while in hospital, Mr Johnson handed the reins of power over to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab instead of Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.

Mr Johnson was also forced to self-isolate again after the NHS Test and Trace app said he was in contact with someone who had contracted the virus.

The Prime Minister said as he was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital: “Raab! Not Gove!”

It comes after Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings prepares to testify on decisions made in Downing Street during the pandemic.

Mr Cummings’ decision to denounce his former boss has raised concerns among officials in Downing Street.

The former aide – who led the Brexit campaign – will appear before the health committee in May.

It is believed he will discuss missteps regarding masks, testing, protective gear and whether a collective immunity policy is enforced.

Mr Cummings will argue Mr Johnson imposed the second lockdown too late in the fall.

Last week, the former aide said the health ministry had had a “total disaster” with the purchase of PPE.

READ MORE: Boris faces conservative revolt against ‘draconian’ extension of coronavirus law

He added: “Patrick Vallance [the Government’s chief scientific adviser] then came to # 10 and said this should not be executed by the health ministry, we should create a separate working group. We also had the EU proposal, which looked like an absolutely guaranteed program to fail the debacle.

“Therefore, Patrick Vallance, the Secretary to the Cabinet, I and a few others obviously said we should take this out of the DoH. Obviously we should create a separate working group.”

He said that as the country emerged from lockdown, there was a need for a “very, very urgent review” of “what went wrong and why” during the pandemic.

Mr Cummings has resigned his post as Mr Johnson’s main assistant following an apparent power struggle with Prime Minister’s fiancee Carrie Symonds.

Mr Raab’s appointment as the prime minister’s successor came as no surprise following a strained relationship between Mr Gove and Mr Johnson.

Mr Gove replaced David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

Hours before the leadership race nominations close, Mr Gove said his friend was falling short.

Mr Gove – who was Mr Johnson’s campaign manager – said: “I respect and admire all leadership contestants.

“In particular, I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who pleads to leave the European Union can lead us to a better future.

“But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”

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