What happens when a Prime Minister falls ill?

 Boris Johnson has now been in hospital for a couple of days, and there’s no word on when he’ll be coming out. The government says he’s “stable and in good spirits”, but he’s suffered breathing difficulties and received what Downing Street calls “standard oxygen treatment.” Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is in charge for the moment – but what if this goes on longer? We speak to Lord Owen, the former foreign secretary under James Callaghan, to ask how governments work without a Prime Minister, and what lessons we can learn from history?



 

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