Rishi Sunak has decided to uphold Liz Truss’s decision to prevent King Charles attending the Cop 27 climate conference despite the sovereign “champing at the bit” to go. Mr Sunak has faced criticism himself for deciding not to attend the event and has faced calls to allow the Monarch to attend instead.
The King is said to be disappointed by the advice from Downing Street that he should skip the event with some allies suggesting that His Majesty’s presence would prove Britain’s environmental commitment.
However, the Monarch is set to follow Mr Sunak’s advice after Downing Street made it clear that it wouldn’t reopen any debate about the issue.
The Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey had suggested on Thursday that it was up to the King if he attended the conference which raised hopes of a U-turn.
A friend of the Monarch told The Times that he would be disappointed not to go.
They said: “He will be champing at the bit but knows it would need government blessing.
“The PM has reversed the fracking decision so this could be another smart environmentally-focused move.”
Buckingham Palace sources denied that the King was disappointed while Downing Street insisted there was no row about Mr Sunak’s refusal to reopen discussions about the matter.
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One potential option would be to travel by private jet but this would be seen as contrary to the spirit of an event promoting global environmentalism.
However, the Monarch does intend to engage with COP27 remotely, possibly through the use of a video message.
Meanwhile, Mr Sunak has been slammed for deciding not to attend with former culture secretary Nadine Dorries saying it was wrong given the scale of the event.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the former Chancellor of a “failure of leadership.”
He said: “Many people would be expecting a prime minister of the UK not just to attend but to use it as an opportunity to pull world leaders together to deal with climate.”