UK national security council has not met since January

Britain’s national security council is made up of senior ministers, military and spy chiefs. A meeting has not been held since late January and there are no plans for them to come together this week either, prompting a growing concern in some quarters of Whitehall. 

The body used to meet at least once a week under David Cameron and Theresa May but has only done so sporadically since the election, and there’s growing fears that it is being made deliberately redundant during the coronavirus crisis. 

A meeting was due to occur last week but was cancelled and multiple sources have 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.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on matters regarding the national security council. The government continues to protect the UK’s national security while addressing the pressing demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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