Boris Johnson took private plane back to London from COP26 climate summit

4 November 2021, 08:11

Boris Johnson has been criticised for flying a private jet from COP26 to London for a dinner.
Boris Johnson has been criticised for flying a private jet from COP26 to London for a dinner. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Boris Johnson has been accused of "staggering hypocrisy" for flying out of the COP26 climate summit on a private plane to attend a dinner in London.

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Mr Johnson is said to have left the conference in Glasgow at 6.20pm and arrived at London Stansted at 7.16pm, according to reports.

Mr Johnson then reportedly headed to the private men-only Garrick Club for a dinner with former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore.

Downing Street confirmed Mr Johnson took a plane to fly from Glasgow to London, saying he didn't travel by train because of "time constraints".

The journey - which is around 400 miles - can be done in four and a half hours by train.

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Anneliese Dodds, the Labour party chair, criticised Mr Johnson's choice of travel as "staggering hypocrisy".

Ms Dodds said: "This is staggering hypocrisy from the Prime Minister. After warning world leaders it's one minute to midnight to prevent climate catastrophe, Boris Johnson clocked off from Cop26, jumped in his private jet and flew down to London for dinner at a gentleman's club with a self-confessed climate change sceptic.

"It seems that when it comes to taking action to tackle the climate crisis, there's one rule for the Conservatives and another rule for the rest of the world."

Read more: Ed Miliband: COP26 needs to be a 'global embarrassment mechanism'

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The crucial climate talks in Glasgow were opened by the Prime Minister, who called on delegates to stop "quilting the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2".

A Number 10 source said Mr Johnson had always been due to leave Glasgow on Tuesday evening, as the element of the summit involving world leaders drew to a close.

The focus of the COP26 summit will switch away from coal on Thursday - and will take a look at clean energy alternatives.

Countries including major coal users Poland and Vietnam are committing to shift away from the fossil fuel.

The UK government has hailed moves away from coal, as signalling "the end is in sight" for the fossil fuel, which is the single biggest contributor to climate change.

Read more: COP26 Analysis: There's no 'extra time' in the fight against climate change

Initiatives include a UK-led coal-to-clean power transition statement, committing countries to ending all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally, and rapidly scaling up deployment of clean power generation.

The statement also sees them commit to phasing out coal power in economies in the 2030s for major economies and the 2040s for the rest of the world, and to ensure the shift away from coal power is fair and benefits workers and communities.