Boris Johnson has retaken the reins of government this afternoon, hours after undergoing surgery on a sinus problem this morning, No10 has revealed.
The Prime Minister is feeling well and will be holding meetings this afternoon, after the minor operation under general anaesthetic at an unspecified London NHS hospital, his spokesman said.
Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital at 6am for the scheduled procedure, and returned to Downing Street around 10am.
It was the first time the PM had visited the hospital since he suffered from Covid in the spring of 2020, and his spokesman said they were two not related.
It is understood Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab remains on hand to assist with any major decisions, in line with the general advice to the public on not making significant choices for the first 24 hours after undergoing general anaesthesia.
However, Boris Johnson remains Prime Minister and will continue acting as such, No. 10 said.
The Prime Minister, who flew to Ukraine at the weekend, had a ‘minor’ operation at an unspecified London NHS hospital early today
He left home at 6am and was back in Westminster by 10am without using an ambulance after the procedure, which had been scheduled some time in advance.
The timing of Mr Johnson’s return to work would depend on how he feels, but he was planning to chair Tuesday morning’s Cabinet meeting, according to the speaker.
Asked who was in charge of the UK nuclear accounts during the procedure, the spokesperson said Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case were aware in advance and that Mr Johnson was under for a ‘relatively brief time’.
He said: ‘Operationally, my understanding is there’s a 24-hour period from when the operation takes place… under which sort of significant decisions would be deferred to probably in the first instance of the Deputy Prime Minister.
‘Now we’re not anticipating any of that being required currently, but we do have that capability.’
The operation was on the NHS and was scheduled ‘for a while’, he said, without specifying at which hospital it took place.
On Saturday Mr Johnson made a second surprise visit to Ukraine, a day after Emmanuel Macron and EU leaders visited the capital for the first time.
The Prime Minister was pictured in a warm embrace with President Zelensky, who greeted him by his first name in Kyiv.
After viewing a graveyard of Russian military vehicles, Mr Johnson pledged more UK military assistance, including training for more than 120,000 troops, that aims to expel Russian forces from the war-torn nation.
Speaking at a joint news conference he said that would be the point at which talks on Ukraine’s future could begin.
‘We will continue, as we have from the beginning, to provide the military equipment you need – and now, of course, the training that may be necessary to go with that new equipment – so that you, the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian armed forces, will be able to do what I believe Ukrainians yearn to do, and that is to expel the aggressor from Ukraine, ‘he said.
‘That will be the moment for talks about the future of Ukraine and it will be in that context of a free Ukraine that we and other countries will be making the security commitments and guarantees we have discussed so often.’
Why do people need sinus surgery?
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
They make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose, keeping it clean and free of bacteria.
Surgery involves enlarging the openings between the sinuses and the inside of the nose so air can get in and drainage can get out.
It may involve removing infected sinus tissue, bone or growths. Most surgeries are done by looking through the nostril with a small camera.
The most common reason for sinus surgery is to treat chronic or recurrent infections.
Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by the cold or flu spreading to the sinuses from the upper airways.
It is common and usually clears up on its own within three weeks.
Nasal sprays or antibiotics are prescribed if the infection is taking a long time to go away.
Surgery is a last resort if infections are becoming increasingly common or if drugs don’t work.
Tumors or broken nose
Surgery might also be needed to remove cancer or bone fragments.
Cancerous nose or sinus tumors are rare, with only about 460 cases diagnosed in the UK each year and 2,000 in the US.
The sinuses can also become blocked after a severe nose injury.
Sometimes patients will be offered surgery if they suffer recurrent nosebleeds.
This procedure is done using a small electrical device or chemicals to seal blood vessels in the sinuses that bleed regularly.
Relieving pressure from the eyes
Sinuses are also present behind the forehead and around the eyes.
If these sinuses become blocked – through infection, a build-up of mucus, or otherwise – it can cause vision loss, headaches and teary eyes.