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Nicola Sturgeon should not be anywhere near Glasgow climate summit, Johnson says

Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Boris Johnson has said he does not want Nicola Sturgeon "anywhere near" a global climate summit being held in Glasgow next year.

The UN COP26 meeting, taking place in December 2020, will gather world leaders in Glasgow to discuss action towards tackling climate change.

The Prime Minister, speaking at a Scottish reception at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Sunday, said the First Minister should not be included.

He also insisted that a union flag should be added to every policy and investment that the UK Government makes in Scotland.

"I tell you what we do - we make sure that with every policy we pursue, with every investment that we make in Scotland, we put a union flag on it," Mr Johnson told Tory party supporters at the conference.

"Whether it's investing in defence or whether it is, for instance, the COP 26 climate change summit which is going to be held next year.

"It's going to be a great global summit, the leaders of the entire world will come to Glasgow and I don't mind seeing a saltire or two on that summit, but I want to see the union flag.

"I don't want to see Nicola Sturgeon anywhere near it because the Scottish nationalist party didn't secure that summit in Glasgow, it was the United Kingdom Government."

Mr Johnson also criticised the SNP over their record in government and said his party would "expose" their failures.

He said "Let's expose the frauds of the SNP who go on, who bleat endlessly on, about their desire to smash up the oldest and most successful political union, political partnership, anywhere in the world simply to cover up their domestic failures - their high taxes, their inability to run a successful health or education system.

"Let's expose them for the failures they are and, by the way, when we've got Brexit done, let's remind them of the sheer incoherence of their policies to join the European Union."

Ms Sturgeon tweeted on Monday: "In supporting a catastrophic 'no-deal' Brexit the Scottish Tories are putting the demands of Boris Johnson ahead of the interests of the Scottish people ... who voted overwhelmingly against any kind of Brexit."

A spokesman for the First Minister said: "People will be deeply embarrassed to hear their Prime Minister acting so childishly.

"It is right that the COP26 conference should come to Scotland given our leadership in climate action - we were one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the global climate emergency and the Scottish Government has introduced the toughest targets in the UK to ensure our action matches the scale of our climate ambitions.

"When it comes to issues of common concern such as climate change, the SNP government are proud to play our part and work in partnership with other governments - something that Boris Johnson seems completely incapable of doing."

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