Dominic Raab: de facto deputy for Boris Johnson

London: when Boris Johnson Announced that it had tested positive, Downing Street said the Foreign Secretary would be replaced if the British Prime Minister was incapacitated.

Few expected him to, as Johnson and his office repeatedly maintained that the Prime Minister's symptoms were mild.

But after Johnson was rushed to the hospital Sunday night and transferred to intensive care just 24 hours later, Raab now appears to be in charge for the foreseeable future.

Raab was one of the most prominent figures in Britain's long and divisive process to abandon the European Union , serving as Brexit minister under the former prime minister Theresa May .

He resigned after just three months in November 2018 in protest of May's doomed divorce deal with Brussels that he said offered too many concessions.

But when Johnson became Conservative party leader and prime minister after May's resignation in July last year, Raab was again catapulted into government.

His role as secretary of foreign affairs also carries the title of first secretary of state, which implies seniority over all other ministers except the prime minister, making him his de facto deputy.

The 46-year-old man, who holds law degrees from both universities and Cambridge, had ambitions for the top job, challenging Johnson for the Conservative leadership after May resigned.

Often combative, he has a black belt in karate and is an enthusiastic boxer.

Raab's penchant for the top job marked him as a threat to former London Mayor Johnson due to his even more strident views in favor of Brexit.

But she came in sixth in the leadership contest after a stammering campaign punctuated by disputes over her previous views on militant feminism and readiness to suspend parliament to force a Brexit without a deal.

His spell at the Brexit ministry also failed, and was notable for his admission that he had misunderstood the economic importance of the port at Dover.

As a renowned Eurosceptic, Raab became the public image of Brexit, but May also put a senior official in charge of leading the negotiations with Brussels.

That left Raab personally and politically frustrated and unable to stop May's plan.

Raab made much of his backstory in his leadership campaign.

His Jewish father of Czech origin came to Britain in 1938 as a six-year-old refugee. He died of cancer when Raab was 12 years old and raised by his mother in the Church of England.

He competed in karate for 17 years, making the squad of the United Kingdom.

After studies, he became an international lawyer at London law firm Linklaters before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000 as an adviser.

Raab was sent to The Hague in 2003 to lead a team focused on bringing justice to war criminals, including Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, and Charles Taylor.

From 2006 to 2008, he was chief of staff for 'home affairs spokesman David Davis while in opposition.

Raab entered parliament in 2010 in the ultra-safe conservative seat of Esher and Walton in the commuter belt of the stockbroker in southwest London.

He was named Newcomer of the Year at The Spectator Magazine's Parliamentary Awards.

The same year, May, then Home Secretary, slapped Raab for calling hateful bigots feminists.

It caused major problems for then-Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014, with a supporting amendment to curb the power of judges to block deportations under European rights laws.

About 100 conservatives supported him, highlighting him as an emerging force.

Cameron placed Raab on the government's youngest rung in the justice ministry in 2015, but retired when May became prime minister in 2016.

Eager to freshen up the government with some younger faces a year later, May made him the junior minister of court and justice.

She transferred him to become the junior housing minister in January 2018 and then took him to Brexit work six months later.

Raab denied claims by his former newspaper secretary that he insists on the same lunch every day, according to reports, a chicken and bacon sandwich, a smoothie and a pot of mixed fruit.

Raab is married to Erika Rey-Raab, a Brazilian marketing executive. They have two young children, Peter and Joshua.

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