Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and has opted for self-isolation at Downing Street.
He has revealed he has developed minor symptoms of the virus, including a dry cough and temperature.
Johnson has told the nation he intends to carry on leading the government via video conference links .
Johnson, 55, said: “I’m working from home and self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.
“But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fight-back against coronavirus.
“I want to thank everybody involved and, of course, our amazing NHS staff.”
Health secretary tests positive
Health secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive, explaining he has mild symptoms of the illness but will continue working from home.
The development puts the line of succession for leading the UK under scrutiny should Johnson be unable to continue as Prime Minister.
Britain has no ‘designated survivor’ list confirming who takes over from Johnson in the event he cannot continue in office.
A Downing Street spokesman announced ministers have agreed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will act as first stand-in as Prime Minister, followed by Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister. Health Secretary Hancock was on the list as well, but his ability to take over is also in doubt.
Tory MP Peter Bone has laid a private member’s bill to make the line of succession law, but this is expected to fail. He has quizzed the government 10 times since 2010 about who is listed as a designated survivor with no success.
If the Prime Minister is permanently incapacitated, appointing a new prime minister is the prerogative of The Queen.
Johnson quarantined in Downing Street flat
Johnson is confined to an apartment above 11 Downing Street, which is sealed off.
He is working from the office and study there, with meals and work left at the door for hm to collect.
The Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds, who is several months pregnant, is also self-isolating, although it is not known if they are together in the flat.
Among world leaders, Germany’s Angela Merkel is in quarantine despite testing negative after the doctor carrying out the test reported ill, while Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-isolating after coming into contact with people suffering from coronavirus.