Rishi Sunak under pressure over Cop27 as Johnson confirms attendance

Former PM says he was invited to attend UN summit by Egypt, and he's 'happy to go'

Former British prime minister Boris Johnson. AFP
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LATEST: Rishi Sunak will attend Cop27 after U-turn

Pressure continues to mount on British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to change his mind and appear at the Cop27 conference in Egypt, after Boris Johnson confirmed he will attend the climate summit.

With the UN summit opening on Sunday, former prime minister Mr Johnson on Tuesday saying he was “happy to go” to Sharm El Sheikh.

Mr Sunak appears to be leaving his own decision to the last minute, having initially ruled out attending before indicating that he could change his mind, after widespread criticism.

His climate adviser, Alok Sharma, had said he was “disappointed” that Mr Sunak was not planning to attend.

But the decision of his arch-rival and former Downing Street neighbour to attend will make it even harder for Mr Sunak to resist going.

Sharm El Sheikh's preparations for Cop27 - in pictures

Asked if he thought Mr Sunak should go, Mr Johnson told Sky News that the new prime minister has a “massive amount to do” with the government’s domestic agenda.

“I happen to have a particular interest,” he said.

Mr Johnson said it had become “unfashionable” to talk about the Cop26, which he hosted in Glasgow last year.

“I want to talk a little bit about how I see things and how we see things in the UK,” he said.

Access limited for Cop27 climate activists — in pictures

Initially Downing Street said Mr Sunak would not be attending because he must focus on the “depressing domestic challenges”, as he works on the autumn budget.

But on Monday he changed tack, with No 10 saying that the decision was now “under review” as “substantial progress” was being made on his economic plans.

Mr Sunak's spokesman could not confirm on Tuesday afternoon whether he would be attending, saying talks were continuing with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Electric buses are ready for Egypt's Cop27 visitors - video

Updated: November 02, 2022, 11:04 AM