What happens behind the scenes if the PM gets ill? James O'Brien asked Alastair Campbell

27 March 2020, 14:12 | Updated: 27 March 2020, 14:34

By Adrian Sherling

What happens behind-the-scenes if a Prime Minister is unable to continue? James O'Brien asked former spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, along with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and both are in self-isolation with mild symptoms.

With the number of people Boris Johnson will have seen face-to-face over the last two weeks, James was keen to find out what would planning would be going on in Downing Street right now.

He spoke to Alastair Campbell, who was Director of Communications for Tony Blair to find out.

James asked: "If a significant swathe of a government is laid low by an illness, is there an emergency button that can be pushed?"

James O'Brien spoke to Alastair Campbell about Boris Johnson's coronavirus positive
James O'Brien spoke to Alastair Campbell about Boris Johnson's coronavirus positive. Picture: LBC

Mr Campbell responded: "The Head of State asks the person most able to form a government to form a government. We certainly didn't sit around asking what we would do if the whole cabinet falls over, but somebody would emerge who would be the Prime Minister. But I don't think that's going to happen.

"I don't believe that, assuming the symptoms are as reported, that he won't be able to do the job.

"Whenever Tony Blair went on holiday, there was a big hoo-har over who was in charge of the country. But the world has changed.

"I don't think getting everybody into the same room to discuss and debate is necessarily as important as it was in previous days."

Listen to the full interview at the top of the page.