Blog: Boris Johnson returns to work

By ITV News Central Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie

It's the start of week 6 of the lockdown - and a return to work for Prime Minister Boris Johnson who certainly can now speak from first hand experience of what he described in his speech this morning as "an unexpected and invisible mugger " - the Covid-19 virus.

He has praised the public's " grit and guts" in the face of unprecedented restrictions and insisted that the measures must stay in place - but we all know that the roads in the Midlands are getting busier - more businesses are opening up and there is just the sense that some people may be easing up.

So how will the PM lead in the days to come? He has promised greater transparency yet his government is still silent on any route map to how the severe lockdown will be eased.

His stand-in Dominic Raab talked of the difficulty of being the one in the top job - Boris Johnson now has to convince the Midlands voters who put him into Number Ten that he will make the right decisions.

Photo of Boris Johnson making today's speech Credit: PA

He could face his first Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday with Sir Keir Starmer as opposition Leader - he will be under pressure for a timeline on any changes which may take the form of easing back on some rules while tightening others - such as a 14 day quarantine for new arrivals into the UK.

I remember strongly the impromptu warm reception Boris Johnson received in Wolverhampton on the eve of the EU referendum vote back in 2016 - it now seems so long ago. Office workers, passers by and shoppers stopped to shake his hand to take selfies and cheer him.

The lockdown restrictions would prevent such action today but those same people will be wondering if he can as he promised today lead the country so that we will come through this all the faster and the UK will "emerge stronger than ever before"

Over to you Mr Johnson ..

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Boris Johnson returns to Number 10:

Analysis of Boris Johnson's speech