No 10 unable to say if Boris Johnson will face Keir Starmer at PMQs | Boris Johnson

Downing Street was unable to say on Tuesday night if Boris Johnson will face Keir Starmer at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday.

With less than 24 hours before the prime minister was due to appear in the House of Commons, Labour had not been informed whether Johnson would be fit enough to face Starmer, the new leader of the opposition, across the dispatch box.

No 10 said it could not confirm whether Johnson would take part, after he returned to work in Downing Street full-time on Monday amid reports he was “raring to go”.

He was described on Tuesday by Downing Street as “fine” after he chaired the daily morning coronavirus meeting and then met the chancellor and cabinet secretary. He has spent the rest of the day in meetings, reading papers and doing box work.

If he does attend, it would have been Johnson’s first appearance in parliament since he fell ill with coronavirus on 27 March. He was later taken to hospital and spent three days in intensive care and then two weeks recuperating at Chequers.

However, Johnson is expected to have a phone call with Starmer on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the coronavirus crisis, even if he does not take prime minister’s questions.

Last week, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, took prime minister’s questions in Johnson’s absence while he was still deputising.

Starmer used his first outing as Labour leader in the Commons to accuse the government of being far slower than other EU countries on testing and said its personal protective equipment strategy was not working.

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