‘Raab not Gove!’ Boris’s snub to Vote Leave ally as Foreign Secretary named PM’s successor
Boris Johnson leaves hospital after receiving vaccine
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Back 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 to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab instead of Cabinet Office 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 has contracted the virus.
The Prime Minister said as he was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital: “Raab! Not Gove!”
This comes after Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, prepares to give evidence about decisions taken in Downing Street during the pandemic.
Mr Cummings decision to speak out against his former boss has sparked concern among officials in Downing Street.
The former aide – who spearheaded the Brexit campaign – will appear before the Health Committee in May.
It is believed he will discuss missteps over masks, testing, protective equipment and whether a policy over herd immunity was being pursued.
Mr Cummings will argue Mr Johnson imposed the second lockdown too late in autumn.
Last week, the former aide told admitted the Department of Health had a “total disaster” with its procurement of PPE.
Mr Cummings, 49, told the Commons Science and Technology Committee: “It’s not coincidental that the vaccine programme worked the way that it did.
“To do that we had to take it out of the DoH, we had to have it authorised very directly by the PM and strip away all the normal nonsense that we can see is holding back funding therapeutics.
“In spring 2020 you have a situation where DoH was just a smoking ruin in terms of procurement and PPE and all of that.
“You had serious problems with the funding bureaucracy for therapeutics on Covid. So that was the kind of context for it.”
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He added: “Patrick Vallance [the Government’s chief scientific adviser] then came to No 10 and said this shouldn’t be run out of the Department of Health, we should create a separate task force. We also had the EU proposal, which looked like an absolute guaranteed programme to fail debacle.
“Therefore Patrick Vallance, the Cabinet Secretary, me and some others said obviously, we should take this out of the DoH. Obviously, we should create a separate task force.”
He said as the country emerges from lockdown, there needed to be an “urgent very, very hard look” at “what went wrong and why” during the pandemic.
Mr Cummings quit as Mr Johnson’s chief aide following an apparent power struggle with the 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 stood to replace David Cameron as Tory party leader and Prime Minister.
Hours before nominations closed for the leadership race, Mr Gove said his friend was not up to the job.
Mr Gove – who was the director of Mr Johnson’s campaign – said: “I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership.
“In particular, I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could 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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