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Boris Johnson is beginning his first working day in self-isolation in Downing Street after meeting an MP who later tested positive for Covid-19. The prime minister said he was “pinged” by NHS Test and Trace on Sunday and told to self-isolate, but remains well.  Mr Johnson on Thursday spent about 35 minutes with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who lost his sense of taste the next day.

 

It comes as the government prepares a policy relaunch after fierce internal rows and departures from No 10. Downing Street said a series of “critical announcements” would this week detail Boris Johnson “ambitions for the United Kingdom”. They follow the dramatic departure of the PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings last week. Mr Johnson will chair “key Covid meetings” and work with Chancellor Rishi Sunak to devise the upcoming spending review with an aim to fulfil his promise to “build back better”.

Mr Johnson wrote on Twitter on Sunday night: “Today I was notified by NHS Test and Trace that I must self-isolate as I have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.”I have no symptoms, but am following the rules and will be working from No 10 as I continue to lead the government’s pandemic response.”

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In a WhatsApp message to Tory MPs seen by the BBC the PM added: “The good news is that NHS Test and Trace continues to improve. The bad news is that I have been pinged!”he said he would observe self-isolation rules despite “following the guidance and socially distancing” during his meeting with Mr Anderson.”It doesn’t matter that I feel fine – better than ever – or that my body is bursting with antibodies because I have already had the damn thing,