BORIS Johnson’s plans for a new taskforce on the Union have been thrown into chaos now he is having to self-isolate after meeting with a Tory MP who later tested positive for Covid-19.

The Prime Minister was due this week to set out plans to “reset” his struggling government after a torrid period which last Friday saw his controversial chief aide Dominic Cummings and his communications director Lee Cain dramatically resign.

Johnson was to use their departures to try and get his administration on the front foot with new policies to be set out including a fresh approach to the Union in an attempt to stifle rising support for Scottish independence.

Last week The Times reported that the Prime Minister was to “take a less dogmatic approach to the Union” in a new strategy, which is backed by his fiancee, Carrie Symonds in a bid to soften the UK Government’s image.

Senior figures said that Cain’s resignation on Wednesday opened the way for Johnson to set a new path, resetting relations with the devolved administrations and emphasising more “liberal instincts”.

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One Downing Street source told the paper that Johnson wanted to “build liberal, global Britain” and take a “softer and less dogmatic” approach to Scotland, making the positive case for the Union. “We’ve got to make it more than just about saying ‘no’ to another referendum.”

However, it is now unclear how the Prime Minister’s reset plans will progress as he spends the next two weeks self-isolating.

He was due yesterday afternoon to meet Tories representing the northern “Red Wall” of former Labour seats that delivered his election majority, but had to do the session via video link.

The Prime Minister was also due to unveil a long-awaited 10-point environment plan later this week, an agenda that has been championed by Symonds, including banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 instead of 2040.

Meanwhile, the Brexit trade negotiations are at a critical stage, with just days to reach an agreement in time for the end of the transition period and fears the UK is about to cave in to EU demands on fishing and state aid rules.

In an video posted to Twitter yesterday morning, Johnson tried to reassure people that he could continue to govern remotely.

“Hi folks, the good news is that NHS Test and Trace is working ever-more efficiently, but the bad news is that they’ve pinged me and I’ve got to self isolate because someone I was in contact with a few days ago has developed Covid,” he said. It doesn’t matter that we were all doing social distancing, it doesn’t matter that I’m fit as a butcher’s dog, feel great – so many people do in my circumstances.

“And actually it doesn’t matter that I’ve had the disease and I’m bursting with antibodies. We’ve got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self isolating for 14 days when contacted by Test and Trace.”

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Johnson said he was self-isolating with a “high heart” that the UK was getting on top of the virus, with rapid speed testing and hopes of having a vaccine roll-out before Christmas providing reasons for encouragement. He added: “I will have plenty more to say by Zoom of course and by other forms of electronic communication. But for now, over and out.”

It is not clear whether Johnson knows he still has antibodies, or is merely speculating. There have been very few confirmed cases of people being infected with the disease twice.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister held a 35-minute meeting with a group of Tory MPs including Lee Anderson – the MP for Ashfield an area north of the city of Nottingham and formerly a Labour seat since 1979 – who later tested positive for the virus. The pair did not wear masks.

Labour’s Chris Bryant questioned how the PM got to be in contact with an infected person during England’s second lockdown. The MP wrote on Twitter: “I don’t understand. I thought England was in lockdown. What was the PM doing not maintaining a social distance with another MP? Have I missed something?”