Dominic Raab: The former lawyer 'deputising' for Boris Johnson

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

When Cabinet ministers dial in for their daily emergency coronavirus conference call on Tuesday morning, there will be a different face to greet them.

With Downing Street confirming that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been transferred to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened on Monday afternoon, Boris Johnson has said Dominic Raab would "deputise where necessary" in his absence.

The Foreign Secretary has spent much of the last month trying to get Britons repatriated from various far-flung corners of the globe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The intricacies of negotiating border closures, grounded planes and stubborn international authorities has seen the Foreign Office come under increasing pressure to get its stranded citizens home.

Upon being appointed Foreign Secretary last summer, Mr Raab was soon thrust into handling the Transatlantic fall-out over the death of British teenager Harry Dunn, who was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

The family of Harry Dunn Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

The fact Mr Dunn’s parents tried to heckle Mr Raab at a constituency hustings event was indicative of how well the family felt he dealt with obtaining justice for their son.

Mr Raab also had to manage the thorny issue of repatriating children of British jihadis.

By then, he had already established himself as an uncompromising figure in politics following his election to the seat of Esher and Walton in David Cameron’s sweeping Conservative victory of 2010.

He rarely strayed from his dedication to leaving the European Union – an enviable characteristic for a Conservative government elected four months ago on a mandate to "get Brexit done".

Speaking to ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand on the Acting Prime Minister podcast, he said he would "probably not" describe himself as a feminist.

Mr Raab also revealed a more personal side during the chat.

Dominic Raab speaking to Political Correspondent Paul Brand on the Acting PM podcast. Credit: ITV News

In fact, when asked about the last time he cried, the MP began his answer with "oh God".

After some pondering he said: "I'm not someone that bursts into tears but I can tell you we wept when my father died, my mum's been through cancer twice.

"I think those were moments when of course I was very choked up but we've also got the stubborn optimism to pull through."

Dominic Raab rarely strayed from his dedication to leaving the European Union. Credit: PA

The former Brexit secretary’s relentless commitment to the cause even led to him saying he would keep open the option of suspending Parliament in order to prevent MPs blocking it.

In fact, Mr Raab memorably quit his Cabinet role in protest against Theresa May’s doomed plan to leave the bloc in November 2018.

The former Foreign Office lawyer, who studied law at Oxford and for a Masters at Cambridge, is the son of a Czech-born Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis in 1938.

He was brought up in Buckinghamshire and is married to wife Erika.

Mr Raab has denied claims, made by his former diary secretary, that he insisted on the same Pret a Manger lunch every day.

The "Dom Raab special" apparently consists of a chicken Caesar and bacon baguette, superfruit pot and a vitamin volcano smoothie.

The karate black belt and father to two boys played up his image as a Brexit hard man during the 2019 Tory leadership race, but failed to progress to the final two.

On Tuesday, in his role of First Secretary of State, Mr Raab will take up the role of deputising for the ill prime minister.