Opposition parties round on Rishi Sunak’s ‘failure of leadership’ as new Prime Minister snubs Cop27 summit in Egypt and downgrades the status of his climate minister
- Rishi Sunak accused of ‘failure of leadership’ over decision not to attend Cop27
- Prime Minister insisted he was ‘personally committed’ to tackling climate crisis
- Downing Street admitted King was advised not to attend the summit under Truss
Rishi Sunak was accused of a ‘failure of leadership’ yesterday over his decision to snub the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt next month.
The Prime Minister insisted he was ‘personally committed’ to tackling the climate crisis, but must focus on ‘depressing domestic challenges’ instead.
Downing Street admitted for the first time yesterday that the King was advised not to attend the summit under Liz Truss’s administration. But Buckingham Palace flatly denied suggestions that there had been any upset about his non-attendance.
Rishi Sunak was accused of a ‘failure of leadership’ yesterday over his decision to snub the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt next month
Aides pointed out that although he was a ‘star turn’ at the previous event in Glasgow – for which even the Queen made a special video address – his position has changed since he was Prince of Wales.
The King is mindful of his new constitutional role as monarch and understands that a short trip to Egypt would not be appropriate for his first state visit abroad.
His diary is already full of other duties domestically and the Foreign Office has other priorities for him overseas. Last night, royal sources also pushed back against claims that he was unhappy only ministers were attending on behalf of the UK – saying anyone who suggested that would be speaking without knowledge or authority.
Downing Street admitted for the first time yesterday that the King was advised not to attend the summit under Liz Truss’s administration. Pictured: Charles, then Prince of Wales, speaks to world leaders from the Commonwealth at a reception at COP26 in Glasgow
But, given his passion and life-long commitment to environmental issues, it is highly unlikely that Charles wouldn’t be privately concerned at the thought of a watered-down British contingent.
Mr Sunak’s decision not to go will raise concerns that the UK will not be properly represented at the summit – as former PM Miss Truss had been planning to attend.
Instead, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Business Secretary Grant Shapps and the Environment Secretary Therese Coffey will go, alongside Cop26 president Alok Sharma.
Tory former Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries yesterday said Mr Sunak was ‘wrong’ not to attend the Sharm El-Sheikh summit, saying global warming was the ‘biggest crisis facing our planet’.
The then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow last year
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said people ‘expect their Prime Minister to be on the world stage sorting these problems out’, adding: ‘It’s an absolute failure of leadership.’
But Jacob Rees-Mogg, who quit as energy secretary on Tuesday, said he was ‘right not to go’.
Meanwhile, Mr Sharma backed calls for the Government to go further on a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.
Source: Read Full Article