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The nation rallies to Boris but who’ll now make the critical decisions?

April 8th, 2020

Is there a need for a temporary PM?

Today’s front pages very much sum up the the mood of the nation and the political issues created by the continued hospitalisation of the prime minister who has been in intensive care now for a second night. All this comes at the height of the biggest peacetime emergency that the UK has seen in generations.

A huge issue that will have to be decided in the coming days and weeks is how and when to lift the lockdown which is causing a massive amount of damage to the economy. This all comes after the latest pandemic statistics show a record number of deaths in hospitals in the previous 24-hours and and the indications are that we haven’t yet seen the curve flatten out.

Inevitably there are divisions about how the UK should approach the crisis and the question who is going to decide when to lift the lockdown?

The latest data shows that only 15% of those who have been admitted to hospital since the crisis began have been discharged which suggests that Boris might be in for a long spell in hospital before he is able to to return.

There is talk of a temporary Prime Minister being necessary and if that happens it will be for the cabinet to decide who should be the person. That could be a massive decision and although Dominic Raab is the designated deputy he clearly has nothing like the authority of the prime minister himself.

The key decisions for now will be for the cabinet as a whole but it is not clear that Raab would have the full support of all his cabinet colleagues for a temporary role.

Mike Smithson