BORIS Johnson has told Cabinet colleagues he will return to lead Britain out of lockdown — and friends say it could be as early as next week.
He is determined to be at No10 to direct plans to get the country moving again. And an ally said: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he was back before the end of next week.
“Everyone knows he is the key to selling the end of the lockdown to voters.
“This is the biggest decision he will ever take and he knows the implications are vast for millions of families. There is no way he will be on the sidelines.”
Downing Street aides have stressed Boris must recover fully from coronavirus before stand-in Dominic Raab hands over.
But the PM has set his sights on returning before May 11 when the extended lockdown is due to end — and critical decisions must be taken on the next step.
Today military transport planes carrying 400,000 surgical gowns and personal protective equipment for health workers are due to land in Oxfordshire. The Department of Health did an emergency deal with makers in Turkey as supplies at UK hospitals came within hours of running out.
Medics fear the new shipment will last only days.
Yesterday’s UK hospital death toll was 888 — bringing the total to 15,464.
It includes at least 61 health workers, nearly double the 32 NHS deaths we reported last Sunday.
Buckingham Palace yesterday announced there will be no gun salute to mark the Queen’s 94th birthday on Tuesday. It will be the first time in her 68-year reign there is no salute.
Meanwhile Prince Harry sparked anger by claiming the media is exaggerating the impact of Covid-19.
He said: “Things are better than we are led to believe through certain corners of the media.”
No10 last night refused to comment on any timeline for the PM’s return to work.