Questions have been raised as to who will take charge while Prime Minister Boris Johnson undergoes hospital treatment after suffering persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

Mr Johnson was taken to an NHS hospital in London in Sunday night (April 5) after continuing to run a high temperature, with the move described by Downing Street as a “precautionary step”.

  • Who is in charge while the PM is in hospital?

Despite spending the night in hospital, Boris Johnson remains “very much in charge” of the government, a Cabinet minister has said.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick stressed that the hospital admission was not an emergency and that the Prime Minister is expected to be back in Downing Street “shortly”.

Johnson is understood to have remained in touch with ministers and senior officials in spite of being ill.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Jenrick said: “He’s been working extremely hard leading the government and being constantly updated. That’s going to continue.

“Obviously today he’s in hospital having the tests, but he will continue to be kept informed as to what’s happening and to be in charge of the government.

"I'm sure this is very frustrating for him, for somebody like Boris who wants to be hands on running the government from the front, but nonetheless he's still very much in charge of the Government."

  • Who will stand in for Boris Johnson?

The current government does not have a Deputy Prime Minister, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to chair the daily coronavirus press conference from Downing Street on Monday (April 6) in his absence.

Boris Johnson is believed to be in St Thomas’ hospital and was admitted overnight to have what have been described as “routine tests”, after suffering from persistent coronavirus symptoms, including a high temperature.

In a statement, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight (April 5) been admitted to hospital for tests.
"This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.

"The Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the government's advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."

  • Are there plans to ease the lockdown?

Mr Jenrick suggested that the current lockdown measures in place in the UK could be gradually eased “in the weeks to come”, although he stressed an exit strategy would require much more testing.

He said: "If we can do that then we can look in the weeks to come to begin to very carefully lift some of those measures.

"But an exit strategy that's sustainable will also have to be accompanied by much greater testing and tracing than we are able to do today."