Boris Johnson speaks to Donald Trump as PM recovers from coronavirus

Boris Johnson has spoken to US President Donald Trump as the Prime Minister recovers from coronavirus at his Chequers country retreat.

In a sign the PM was making a gradual return to work, Downing Street said they discussed the need for an international response to the pandemic and a post-Brexit trade deal.

Mr Johnson is also expected to have a telephone audience with the Queen later this week for the first time in three weeks, during which he spent time in intensive care with Covid-19.

Coronavirus
The PM and the Queen’s last audience was held by telephone at the end of March (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The PM thanked the president for his good wishes while he was unwell, and discussed the needed for a co-ordinated response to the disease.

Mr Trump has been widely criticised for halting US payments to the World Health Organisation, which he accused of failing to do enough to stop the disease’s spread out of China.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to President Trump this afternoon, and thanked him for his good wishes while he was unwell.

“The leaders agreed on the importance of a co-ordinated international response to coronavirus, including through the G7 – which the US currently chairs.

“They also discussed continued UK-US co-operation 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.”

With Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputising for the PM, the call was an early indication of the PM resuming some duties.

But Number 10 stressed that Mr Johnson is not “formally” doing Government work.

Mr Raab will take Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons on Wednesday and will chair a meeting of Cabinet on Thursday.

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