Dr Victoria Honeyman discusses political impact of Covid-19 on BBC Radio 5 Live Drive

Dr Honeyman is interviewed about the political impact Covid-19 is having and how this could change over the coming weeks, following the announcement of the Prime Minister contracting the virus.

Dr Honeyman told BBC Radio 5 Live Drive that she thinks Boris Johnson will still be able to control the cabinet despite having to self-isolate after testing positive for the virus. Dr Honeyman explains that “we’ve had Prime Ministers before who have been ill in times with less technological advancement who have struggled to get through their workload but have managed”. By utilising current technology Boris Johnson could still be able to attend meetings, albeit virtually, and continue to make important decisions.

Dr Honeyman concedes that if Boris Johnson’s symptoms worsen then there are mechanisms in place to work around this, as there are deputies and vice chairs who are already well informed and are able to pick up the reins. “You always need somebody who is essentially on the hook, who is the person at the end of the line who makes those decisions, and that is always the Prime Minister in these big times” says Dr Honeyman.

If Boris Johnson were to become too ill to work then Dominic Raab would step into his position. Dr Honeyman explains that although these measures are in place, taking over the role of the Prime Minister is not a straight forward task. “When you are the person who is second in command it’s very difficult for you to make decisions because it’s not really your job, you’re trying to interpret what you think someone else would do” explains Dr Honeyman.

So far Dr Honeyman thinks that “the government are doing a good job of providing a calm message…of stay at home to save the NHS” which is being pushed repeatedly.

If cases continue to rise exponentially then Dr Honeyman anticipates that normality will be hit even more than it currently is and at that point we will really see how people respond to the crisis, which she hopes will be in a positive way. 

Listen to the full BBC Radio 5 Live Drive show (Dr Honeyman interview starts at approximately 1 hour 39 minutes).