BORIS Johnson is “doing well” and remains "very much in charge" of the UK Government despite spending the night in hospital with persistent coronavirus symptoms, Robert Jenrick, the UK Communities Secretary, has insisted.

The Prime Minister, 55, was admitted to a NHS hospital in London on Sunday night for tests on the advice of his doctor after continuing to run a high temperature. He is said to have received oxygen treatment.

Downing Street described the move as a "precautionary step", insisting Mr Johnson continued to lead the Government and remained in touch with ministers and senior officials.

However, this morning the usual Covid-19 Downing St briefing will be led by Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. There is a question-mark over who will chair tomorrow’s usual Cabinet meeting via videolink if the PM remains in hospital.

Mr Jenrick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I hear he is doing well.” He pointed out how Mr Johnson had been working “phenomenally hard” while under the weather. He made clear the PM was “still very much in charge of the Government".

The Secretary of State stressed it was not an emergency admission and that he expected his colleague to return to No 10 "shortly".

He told BBC Breakfast: "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."

The news of the PM's admission - he is believed to be in the nearby St Thomas' Hospital - came just an hour after the Queen delivered a message of hope to the nation, saying "we will overcome it" although we "may have more still to endure".

Mr Johnson revealed on March 27 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating with "mild symptoms," including a high temperature and persistent cough

He has shared several video updates from his Number 11 flat since the diagnosis and stepped outside to join the nationwide clap for key workers on Thursday evening.

The PM has not been seen publicly since but spoke to Sir Keir Starmer, the new Labour leader, on Saturday afternoon.

Carrie Symonds, his pregnant fiancée, has said she is "on the mend" after spending a week in bed after also suffering coronavirus symptoms.

The 32-year-old, who is expecting the couple's baby in early summer, has been self-isolating in Camberwell, south London, with the couple's dog Dilyn.

Tony Blair, the former premier, described Mr Johnson's hospital situation as "hellish".

He told Today: "I have every sympathy and solidarity with him. I know it must be a hellish situation to be in."

Asked if the PM should hand over control while ill, the former Labour leader replied: "I'm not going to second-guess them on that. He knows the state of his own condition and he will be judging it carefully himself, I'm sure."

Meanwhile, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, has recovered from his coronavirus symptoms and is back at work.

Mr Jenrick suggested the current lockdown measures could be gradually eased "in the weeks to come", although an exit strategy would require much more testing.

He explained there was currently "excess capacity" in intensive care units "across the country", which had to be maintained to ensure the NHS was not overwhelmed.

"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."

Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, suggested it might be "sensible" for Mr Johnson to "step back" if he was not well enough to carry out his role for now.

"In the end, if he's not well, he will have to reflect on this because the job's tough at the best of times and it's doubly tough now," he told Today.

Among those wishing the PM well has been Donald Trump. Describing him as "a great friend of mine," the US President added: "I'm sure he is going to be fine, he's a strong man, a strong person."