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On Brexit Day, Boris Johnson Sacks UN Climate Conference President

MSN News

The woman who was leading the UK’s hosting of a UN global climate change summit has been sacked by Boris Johnson.

 Britain’s former Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Claire Perry O’Neill, a former energy minister, said that she was “very sad” that her role as president of the COP26 United Nations climate change talks in Glasgow in November, had been “rescinded” by the Prime Minister.

The role, which was semi-independent from Whitehall, will now come under the remit of Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and her department.

Perry O’Neill tweeted: “Very sad that the role I was offered by @BorisJohnson last year has now been rescinded as Whitehall ‘can’t cope’ with an Indy COP unit. A shame we haven’t had one climate cabinet meeting since we formed. Wishing the COP team every blessing in the climate recovery emergency.”

Green credentials in doubt

The decision to axe Ms Perry O’Neill casts doubt on Mr Johnson’s credentials as a Prime Minister committed to fighting climate change and putting the UK on the path to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. COP26 in Glasgow is seen as a landmark in the fight against climate change because campaigners argue that the world is reaching a tipping point at which global warming cannot be stopped.

Ms Perry O’Neill was appointed by Mr Johnson last summer, shortly after he arrived in No 10.

A Cabinet Office statement said: “Claire Perry O’Neill will no longer be UK COP26 president. The Prime Minister is grateful to Claire for her work preparing for what will be a very successful and ambitious climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

“Preparations will continue at pace for the summit, and a replacement will be confirmed shortly. Going forward, this will be a ministerial role.”

Mr Johnson is expected to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle in the next few weeks, with whoever takes charge at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy expected to take the lead on the climate summit.

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