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Still in recovery, UK PM speaks to Trump

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photo: Frank Augstein / Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the first steps towards returning to work on Tuesday after being hospitalised with coronavirus, speaking to US President Donald Trump by telephone.

The two leaders discussed the importance of international action against the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for a post-Brexit trade deal, a Downing Street statement said.

Johnson is also to speak with Queen Elizabeth II in their first weekly audience for three weeks.

However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab continues to deputise for the Conservative leader and will step in for Johnson during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Johnson “isn’t formally doing government work”, his spokesman said.

The 55-year-old was admitted to hospital with coronavirus on April 5, and spent three nights in intensive care before he was discharged on April 12.

Johnson has been recovering ever since at his official countryside retreat of Chequers, with his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds.

During his phone call with Trump, Johnson thanked the president for his good wishes while he was ill, the Downing Street statement said.

“The leaders agreed on the importance of a coordinated international response to coronavirus, including through the G7, which the US currently chairs,” it said.

“They also discussed continued UK-US cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

“The leaders committed to continue working together to strengthen our bilateral relationship, including by signing a free trade agreement as soon as possible.”


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