Claire O’Neill tells of sadness at losing climate talks presidency

Boris Johnson has axed the president of the major climate summit which the UK is hosting later this year.

Claire O’Neill said she was “very sad” the job she was given in July 2019 ahead of the Cop26 talks had been “rescinded” by the Prime Minister.

The former minister – then known as Claire Perry – said the explanation she was given was that Whitehall could not cope with an independent unit dealing with the summit.

“A shame we haven’t had one Climate cabinet meeting since we formed,” she added.

“Wishing the cop team every blessing in the climate recovery emergency.”

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.”

The November summit in Glasgow is seen as the most crucial round of UN climate negotiations since the Paris Agreement was created in the French capital in 2015.