Politicians and leading figures from across Essex have wished Boris Johnson well after the Prime Minister was placed in intensive care with severe coronavirus symptoms.

In a tweet Colchester MP Will Quince said the whole of the town was rooting for Mr Johnson.

He said: "I wouldn't usually share a private message from the PM but last week I sent @BorisJohnson a get well soon message and he responded sending his love to the whole of Colchester.

"Boris - the whole of Colchester is rooting for you and sending their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

"The sentiment is the important bit, a genuinely lovely man our PM and I am thinking of and praying for him and wishing him a speedy recovery."

Witham MP and Home Secretary Priti Patel also sent a message of support.

She tweeted: "As we all think of our Prime Minister & his family, please remember that we can all do our bit to beat this virus - #StayHomeSaveLives

"@BorisJohnson GET WELL. We all want you well & back in @10DowningStreet."

The Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner also tweeted: "Our thoughts are with @BorisJohnson & his family at this time. Wishing him a speedy recovery."

The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise "where necessary", No 10 says.

Mr Johnson had been working from isolation until his worsening symptoms led him to be sent to hospital, initially as a precautionary measure.

A number of Conservative colleagues urged their “boss” to get back to full health, while also offering their support to his fiancee Carrie Symonds, who herself is overcoming the virus.