Britain’s national security council – a meeting of senior ministers with military and spy chiefs – has not met since late January and there are no plans for it to come together this week, prompting growing concern in some quarters of Whitehall. The high-level body used to meet weekly under David Cameron and Theresa May but has only done so sporadically since the election, and some fear it is being made deliberately redundant during the coronavirus crisis. A meeting was cancelled last week and multiple sources confirmed there were no immediate plans to rearrange, despite tensions with China over the origins of Covid-19 and a recent return by the RAF to bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq. Key decisions across government are being made by the all-male “Covid quad”, a morning meeting involving four leading ministers plus the prime minister, a tight decision-making model preferred by Boris Johnson’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings. The four are Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary; Rishi Sunak, the chancellor; Matt Hancock, the health secretary; and Michael Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who acts as a cross-Whitehall fixer. Some fear classified material is being discussed at the meetings where advisers without a high… Read full this story
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