Boris Johnson speaks to Donald Trump in return to duty

Boris Johnson has begun a gradual return to official duties by speaking with Donald Trump as Westminster agreed a historic move to hold virtual debates.

Mr Johnson discussed the need for an international response to the pandemic with the US President, and recommitted to a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington. The Prime Minister is also expected to have a telephone audience with the Queen later this week for the first time in three weeks.

He remains at Chequers while he recovers from the illness, which saw him spend three nights in intensive care.

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson is in contact with advisers in Downing Street as well as the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who will take today’s Prime Ministers’ Questions following the return of parliament.

This released by 10 Downing Street shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he delivers a television address after being discharged from St Thomas' Hospital in central London. Picture: Getty Images

The first parliamentary questions to be asked remotely will be put today after MPs agreed unprecedented measures to protect MPs and staff.

Around 30 MPs attended yesterday’s session in person, with the Conservative Sir Desmond Swayne comparing the UK’s lockdown to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted there will be “occasions” where social distancing rules are “not kept to absolutely perfectly”, and said the measures would be “temporary”.

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