Rishi Sunak Orders Net Zero Minister To Fly Back From Climate Summit For Crunch Rwanda Vote

Graham Stuart will then travel back to Dubai, No.10 has confirmed.
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The government’s net zero minister has been ordered to fly home from a global climate summit to take part in a crunch vote on Rishi Sunak’s flagship Rwanda plan.

Graham Stuart will then fly back to Dubai for the culmination of COP28, a 6,800-mile round trip.

The move is a clear sign of mounting concern within Downing Street that the government could lose tonight’s vote on the Safety of Rwanda Bill.

Sunak’s spokesman said: “Graham Stuart has returned from COP and will go back.”

Asked about the impact on the climate of the minister’s flights, the spokesman said: “This government is not anti-flying.”

Reacting to the news, shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband said: “The sad truth is that, thanks to Rishi Sunak tanking Britain’s reputation on the world stage, many countries simply won’t even notice that his minister has disappeared.

“Graham Stuart flying home in the middle of critical negotiations tells you everything you need to know about this Conservative government.

“They are weak, divided and chaotic and can’t stand up and fight for lower energy bills for the British people, can’t stand up and fight for investment into our country, and they can’t stand up and fight to provide climate leadership.”

A Labour spokesperson added: “What better demonstration of the price we’re all paying for the Tory psychodrama than the government having to vacate the world stage during crucial climate talks because the prime minister is too weak to lead a party too divided to be led.”

Francesca Rhodes, senior climate and gender policy Adviser for CARE International UK, said: “It is staggering that the UK government has no ministers attending the final critical days of COP28.

“These negotiations will decide the fate of millions of people facing floods, fires and famine due to the climate crisis. The UK has played a productive role in the talks so far but leaving early is simply shameful.

“Time and again, wealthy countries have let down low-income countries.

“When the UK should be standing up for marginalised communities, including women and girls, Rishi Sunak’s government has gone AWOL.”


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