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The Russian war on Ukraine is a reason to "act faster" on climate change, Rishi Sunak said on Monday as he delivered a major speech at the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt.
Making his debut on the world stage as Prime Minister, Mr Sunak acknowledged the scale of the challenges posed by rising energy costs and the war in Ukraine.
But he told delegates: "Vladimir Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change – they are a reason to go faster."
In his closing remarks, Mr Sunak added: "By honouring the promises we made in Glasgow, and by directing public and private finance towards the protection of our planet, we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth.
"And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future. That’s a legacy we could be proud of. So as we come together once again in common cause today, there really is room for hope. Together, let us fulfil it."
The international community should stay the course and pursue the goals agreed at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow, Rishi Sunak urged as he made his debut on the world stage as Prime Minister.
Addressing the Cop27 conference in Egypt, Mr Sunak acknowledged changed global circumstances brought about by Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine and the spiralling energy costs that have ensued.
But, noting that Britain is tripling its funding to help poorer nations adapt to the realities of climate change, he insisted it was "morally right to honour our promises" in the wake of devastation such as the floods in Pakistan.
Mr Sunak still faces scepticism around net zero among some of his backbenchers, but polling continues to suggest a majority of the public is broadly supportive of a green agenda.
With climate change, net zero and the energy and cost-of-living crisis all issues that will play a part in defining his premiership, it is no wonder Mr Sunak eventually opted to attend Cop27. What comes next in terms of policy and planning – both domestically and globally – will be all the more important than today’s speeches.
Nicola Sturgeon is an incredibly divisive figure in Scotland, in the literal meaning of the word, writes Telegraph columnist Tom Harris.
She regularly leads her party to, or near, 50 per cent of the popular vote in devolved and general elections, and among nationalist-inclined Scots she is not just admired, but loved, to the point where no admission of weakness or failing can ever be allowed. The other half of the electorate feels just as strongly about the First Minister, and would dearly love to see the back of her.
Of course, division is what drives nationalism, so this situation is encouraged and enjoyed by the SNP. But it means that virtually everything Sturgeon does is met with unqualified delight by her supporters and not-remotely-concealed disdain by her critics.
Take Cop27, which Sturgeon is eagerly attending. As the head of a devolved administration Sturgeon has little locus and no influence at the world climate change summit taking place in Egypt. But a big part of the never-ending nationalist campaign for independence is to affect the trappings of sovereignty and to present, to the TV viewer and social media user, the impression that Scotland has already taken its seat at the top table of nations.
Tom Harris: Why voters will soon see how irrelevant Sturgeon is
Rachel Maclean, the Conservative MP for Redditch, has called on the Home Office to urgently reform modern slavery laws so they are "fit for purpose".
My constituents are furious about the abuse of our generosity when they see small boats arriving on our shores and abusing our legal protections. The modern slavery act urgently needs reform to prevent it being used as a fast track for Albanian males to avoid deportation. pic.twitter.com/3WIEDjMRp1
A Downing Street spokesman has said in the past few moments:
The Prime Minister met France’s President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of Cop27 in Egypt today.
The leaders welcomed the opportunity to meet in person at Cop27 and agreed on the importance of continuing to drive climate action forward. They noted opportunities for the UK and France to collaborate further on the transition to clean energy, including on civil nuclear power.
The Prime Minister and President Macron spoke about the ongoing challenge of illegal migration, stressing the urgency of cracking down on criminal smuggling gangs. They committed to continue working together with partners to address the issues in the Channel.
The leaders also discussed the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine and the continued importance of maintaining military and economic support for the defence of Ukraine.
They looked forward to working closely together as allies and neighbours to strengthen bilateral ties and address global challenges.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has criticised the "flight-shaming" movement promoted by Greta Thunberg and other climate campaigners, reports Oliver Gill, our Chief Business Correspondent.
Mr O’Leary accused them of peddling a "fallacy" that air travel could be replaced by other modes of transport, and said efforts by campaigners to reduce air travel have so far had no impact on reducing airlines’ carbon footprint.
"I don’t pay too much attention to them," the Irish executive said. "There is very little evidence of the impact of flight-shaming or Greta Thunberg."
The comments came as Ryanair posted record half-year profits of €1.4bn, higher than the €1.2bn posted in 2019 – the last relevant comparator given the impact of the pandemic. The results were broadly in line with investor expectations.
You can read the full story here
Rishi Sunak is a "fossil fuel Prime Minister in a renewable age", Ed Miliband has said.
Labour’s shadow climate and net zero secretary claimed Mr Sunak "had to be dragged even to go to Cop27" after he initially planned to stay in Britain to focus on "depressing domestic challenges" including the economy".
"You could tell that he did not want to be there from his vacuous and empty speech to world leaders," Mr Miliband wrote on Twitter.
"As Sunak preaches about clean energy abroad, he blocks onshore wind at home while giving massive tax breaks to the fossil fuel companies making billions in windfall profits at the expense of working people. Only Labour can deliver the energy and climate leadership Britain needs."
Sir Gavin Williamson has not apologised to Wendy Morton, the former chief whip, for sending her a series of "threatening" messages, her allies have said.
The Cabinet minister faces an investigation into alleged “bullying and intimidation” towards Ms Morton after sending her a series of expletive-laden messages expressing his anger at not having been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Grant Shapps, the Business Secretary, claimed today Sir Gavin had "rightly apologised" for sending "inappropriate" messages to Ms Morton.
But friends of the former chief whip told The Telegraph that this is not true – pointing out that he has not reached out to her to say sorry privately, nor has he made any public statement of apology.
Wendy Morton allies: Williamson not sorry over ‘threatening’ messages
In a short address to delegates at Cop27, Rishi Sunak acknowledged the scale of the climate challenge – but preferred to focus on the "hope" offered by environmentally friendly growth.
Many at the summit in Egypt have acknowledged the brakes the war in Ukraine has put on pursuing eco targets.
But the Prime Minister insisted Putin’s invasion was "not a reason to go slow" and suggested new cleaner, greener energy pathways would prove a "fantastic" source of economic growth.
Mr Sunak has his eye on the long term, wanting to bequeath a greener and more economically sound future to the next generation. His task now will be following through on the commitments that have been made – and taking the public with him as the Government continues to go for its green goals.
Vladimir Putin’s "abhorrent war in Ukraine and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change – they are a reason to go faster," Rishi Sunak tells delegates.
He says green energy investment is a "fantastic source of new jobs and growth", noting the global approach that started in Glasgow to unlock private finance to fund new green infrastructure.
"Instead of developing countries being unfairly burdened with the carbon debt of richer nations and somehow expected to forgo that same path to growth, we are helping those countries deliver their own fast track to clean growth."
Mr Sunak notes Britain’s new £65million investment in green projects in Kenya and Egypt, before thanking Alok Sharma, the UK president of Cop26 "for his inspiring work" to deliver on the Glasgow climate pact.
"By honouring the promises we made in Glasgow, and by directing public and private finance towards the protection of our planet, we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth. And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future. That’s a legacy we could be proud of. So as we come together once again in common cause today, there really is room for hope. Together, let us fulfil it."
Rishi Sunak reflects on the fact 90 per cent of countries are now signed up to net zero targets.
The pandemic "all but broke" the global economy, Mr Sunak says, and he refers to the week he spent last week working on "difficult decisions" for the Autumn Statement.
"But I can tell you today the United Kingdom is delivering on our commitment of £11.6billion, and as part of this we will now triple our funding on adaptation to £1.5billion by 2025. But let me tell you why.
"First, I profoundly believe it is the right thing to do. Listen to Prime Minister Motley of Barbados as she describes the existential threat posed by the ravages of climate change, or look at the devastating floods in Pakistan where the area underwater is the same size as the entire United Kingdom.
"When you see 33million people displaced, with disease rife and spreading through the water, you know it is morally right to honour our promises. But it is also economically right too. Climate security goes hand-in-hand with energy security."
Rishi Sunak recalls the late Queen addressing Cop26 last year.
"She reflected how history has shown when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. I believe we found room for hope in Glasgow with one last chance to create a plan that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, we made the promises to keep that goal within reach.
"And the question today is this – can we summon the collective will to deliver them? I believe we can."
Asked about the row involving Sir Gavin Williamson’s text exchange with Wendy Morton – which Cabinet Office minister Sir Gavin currently faces an internal investigation over – George Eustice admitted it was "unusual".
But in his interview with BBC Radio 4 (more at 5.36pm), Mr Eustice had a novel suggestion to try to ease tensions.
"There are times when MPs, ministers, advisers, will get to the end of their tether due to the frustrations of the job.
"Probably this would have been something better just sorted out over a cup of tea between the chief whip and Gavin Williamson at the time, rather than set down in text messages and then referred to some kind of panel."
There will be no "change in direction" on climate issues under Rishi Sunak’s premiership, George Eustice has suggested this afternoon.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, Mr Eustice said: "I don’t see there being any major change in direction on the environment, but obviously what we all recognise is with pressures on the economy, lots of economic challenges globally and pressures on the cost of living at home, that is going to take up a greater share of Rishi Sunak’s time."
Mr Eustice added he could understand this, but continued: "The most important thing is that I want to see that important work that we started on the environment continue and what I’m hearing is that he is going to do that."
Labour have once again extended their lead to more than 20 points in the latest polling.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party would currently command 48 per cent of the vote at a general election – up one point on last week’s data – according to Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
The Conservatives are yet to enjoy a significant poll bounce in Rishi Sunak’s first few weeks at No 10, having fallen three points to 27 per cent.
The Liberal Democrats are on 10 per cent (down two points) while Reform UK are on five (up one) and the Greens on four (up one).
Labour leads by 21%.
Westminster Voting Intention (6 November):
Labour 48% (+1)
Conservative 27% (-3)
Liberal Democrat 10% (-2)
Reform UK 5% (+1)
Green 4% (+1)
Scottish National Party 4% (+1)
Other 2% (+1)
Changes +/- 2-3 Novemberhttps://t.co/5FaJrK6Pl7 pic.twitter.com/cgD0HXCryO
Nearly half of Home Office staff are still working from home, figures have shown, despite the department facing a wealth of challenges including the asylum crisis.
Fifty-four per cent of desks at its headquarters were occupied during the week commencing Oct 17, second-lowest only to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The Home Office was among the five lowest ranked for attendance at its main building in the five consecutive weeks covering Sept 19 to Oct 21, according to data published on the Cabinet Office website.
Across Whitehall, one-third of civil servants are still working from home, with an average of 64 per cent of staff at their desks as of two weeks ago in the week commencing Oct 24.
Read the full story here
The use of hotels to house migrants is "not a sustainable answer", Robert Jenrick has said.
Maggie Throup, the Tory MP for Erewash and a former minister, said the use of two hotels in her constituency was "wholly unsuitable" as there were no basic facilities nearby.
Mr Jenrick replied: "The hotels are not a sustainable answer. We want to ensure we exit the hotels as quickly as possible and to do that we will need to disperse individuals to other forms of accommodation."
Councils have sought to resist "migrant hotels" being imposed in tourist hotspots as ministers attempt to disperse the thousands who have arrived in small boats across the Channel.
The Home Office does not intend for Manston to become a "permanent" site to house migrants, the immigration minister told MPs.
Sir Roger Gale asked an urgent question in Parliament on the issue in the past hour. The centre – which has been at the centre of reports around overcrowding and poor conditions – is in his North Thanet constituency.
Responding to Sir Roger, Robert Jenrick told the Commons: "The population is now back at an acceptable level and that is a considerable achievement. It’s essential that it remains so and he is right to say that the challenge is far from over… we have to be aware of that and to plan appropriately."
However, Mr Jenrick added it would not be "possible right now" to dismantle temporary facilities, adding: "The prudent thing is to ensure that we maintain the level of infrastructure we have in case there’s a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving in the weeks ahea.
"But it’s certainly not mine or the Home Secretary’s intention that Manston is turned into a permanent site for housing migrants."
The Online Safety Bill is taking on a zombie-like form, a corpse coming to haunt humanity from beyond the grave, writes Matthew Lesh.
Over the summer we were promised, by both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, that the "legal but harmful" provisions would be removed to protect free speech. Last week, this commitment was reconfirmed in briefings to journalists. Today, however, we see reports that a former minister, Damian Collins, has suggested the provisions will remain in some mutilated form.
The legal but harmful duty, as currently drafted, will require Big Tech platforms to state in their terms and conditions how they will tackle "misinformation" and "hate speech".
Collins appears to be suggesting that while, following amendments, the platforms will no longer be told which categories of legal speech they must tackle, Ofcom will still be empowered to ensure platforms are enforcing their terms and conditions and tackling (legal) harms. And this is a recipe for disaster.
Comment: Why ‘if in doubt, censor’ will still prevail
The Government was "steadfast" in its determination to tackle people who are "gaming the system" by crossing the Channel in small boats, Robert Jenrick has said.
Mr Jenrick, the immigration minister, said: "Some 40,000 people have crossed the Channel on small boats so far this year and the Government continues to have a statutory responsibility to provide safe and secure accommodation for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute.
"In order to meet that responsibility we’ve had to keep people for longer than we would have liked at our processing facility at Manston, but we have been sourcing more bed spaces with local authorities and in contingency accommodation such as hotels."
Talks on a new migration deal between Britain and France are in their "final stages", Downing Street said this afternoon.
Following today’s bilateral meeting between Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: "I don’t know if they have finalised a specific deal on the small boats in that meeting.
"A deal has been discussed and, I think, is in its final stages."
Dominic Penna here, the Telegraph’s Political Reporter taking you through the rest of the day.
Rishi Sunak will shortly give a keynote speech from Egypt where he is at the Cop27 summit.
You will be able to watch the Prime Minister’s remarks at the top of this live blog.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, has confirmed that the plan to build a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia has been scrapped (see the post below at 13.42 for the original exclusive story).
He told MPs the Government is prioritising the procurement of a multi-role ocean surveillance ship (MROSS) instead of the new national flagship.
"In the face of the Russian illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and (Vladimir) Putin’s reckless disregard of international arrangements designed to keep world order, it is right that we prioritise delivering capabilities which safeguard our national infrastructure," he said.
That meant he had "also directed the termination of the national flagship competition with immediate effect to bring forward the first MROSS ship in its place".
Rishi Sunak said it was a "disappointing decision" from Matt Hancock to go on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
Asked for his view on the former health secretary entering the Australian jungle for the reality TV show, the Prime Minister told broadcasters in Egypt: "I’ve said already that I think it was a disappointing decision that he made to participate in the programme at this time.
"And I very much support the decision that the chief whip has taken to suspend the Conservative whip from Matt Hancock."
Pressed on whether Mr Hancock will have the whip restored in future, Mr Sunak said: "Whipping matters are of course a question for the chief whip."
He added: "I’ve been very clear that I was very disappointed with the decision he made. I think there’s lots for us all to be getting on with at this time, and that’s what I think people should be (focusing on)."
Rishi Sunak said it is "great" that Boris Johnson has attended the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt.
It is Mr Sunak’s first appearance on the world stage as Prime Minister and there had been suggestions that Mr Johnson’s decision to attend could overshadow the new premier’s debut.
But Mr Sunak told broadcasters: "It is great that the former prime minister is here and I think it says something great about the UK that not only have we got the current Prime Minister here, we have got a former prime minister here.
"It just demonstrates our leadership on this issue globally. Boris was a stalwart champion of building a greener future, he deserves enormous credit and praise for that."
Rishi Sunak has indicated he will only reconsider keeping Sir Gavin Williamson on as a minister after an “independent complaints investigation” has concluded.
Speaking at the Cop27 summit in Egypt, the Prime Minister told broadcasters: “There’s an independent complaints investigation that is happening and it’s right that we let that process run its course before passing judgement.
“There’s an independent complaints investigation process that is happening. And I want to see the results of that, obviously, but I’ve been very clear that language is not right, it’s not acceptable.
“And that’s why I welcome the fact that Gavin Williamson has expressed regret about that and now we wait to see what the investigation says.
“There’s an independent complaints process that’s being conducted at the moment. It would be right to let that process conclude before making any decisions about the future.”
Rishi Sunak was unable to say when he believes the Channel migrant crossings crisis will improve.
Speaking at the Cop27 summit in Egypt, the Prime Minister said: "We all want this situation to resolve itself as quickly as possible. I also want to be honest with people that it is a complex issue.
"It is not one simple solution that is going to solve it overnight… there is a range of things we need to do. But what I want people to be reassured by that I absolutely am determined to grip this."
Rishi Sunak has just conducted a brief TV interview at the Cop27 summit in Egypt in which he said he now has "renewed confidence" that the illegal immigration crisis can be solved.
Speaking after his bilateral meeting with Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister said: "It was great to meet president Macron to talk about not just tackling illegal migration but the range of other areas in which we want to cooperate closely with the French on.
"But also, let’s remember that this is an issue that affects many countries and I have been talking to other European leaders as well about our shared challenge in tackling illegal migration and I think there is an opportunity for us to work closely, not kjust with the French but with other countries as well.
"You will hear more details about that in the coming weeks as those conversations happen amongst all our teams. But I am actually leaving this with renewed confidence and optimism that working together with our European partners we can make a difference, grip this challenge of illegal migration and stop people coming illegally."
Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron are now meeting on the sidelines of the Cop27 summit in Egypt.
Footage of the two men shaking hands and sharing a joke has just played out on Sky News.
Mr Sunak is expected to press Mr Macron to do more to tackle the Channel migrant crossings crisis.
We are expecting a readout from No10 setting out what was discussed at the meeting later this afternoon.
Maros Sefcovic, the vice president of the European Commission, said he believes "where there’s a will, there’s a way" to solve Northern Ireland Protocol problems as he urged the UK Government to drop its threat of unilateral action to reduce post-Brexit border friction.
He told British and European parliamentarians in Westminster: "This is surely the moment to abandon recourse to unilateral action, such as the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill."
The Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, would enable ministers to make unilateral changes to border arrangements in Northern Ireland.
Mr Sefcovic added: "I am convinced that where there’s a will, there’s a way to find these joint solutions for the benefit of people and businesses in Northern Ireland."
Maros Sefcovic, the vice president of the European Commission, said he does not believe the UK and the EU are “worlds apart” on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Speaking to British and European parliamentarians at Westminster, he said: "From the very beginning, the EU has shown genuine understanding for the practical difficulties on the ground, flagged to us by Northern Ireland stakeholders. And this has not changed."
He said both sides should work “constructively and intensively” for a joint solution to the row over the post-Brexit arrangements in the region while praising the work of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in recent weeks after talks restarted.
He said: "This is important as the UK had not engaged in any meaningful discussions with us since February. I believe that our respective positions are not worlds apart."
The comments are likely to reignite hopes of an agreed solution being found to post-Brexit border problems in Northern Ireland.
Rishi Sunak is standing by Sir Gavin Williamson, with Downing Street saying earlier today that the Prime Minister does have full confidence in the Cabinet Office minister.
But Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has said he would sack a member of his Holyrood frontbench team if they sent abusive text messages like Sir Gavin.
Here is the full exchange with Matt Chorley on Times Radio:
Matt Chorley: "What would you do if one of your MSPs behaved like Gavin Williamson? Sending abusive texts to colleagues."
Douglas Ross: "Yeah, it’s not acceptable. I think the Prime Minister’s spokesperson says that’s not acceptable. And there’s an investigation going on at the moment."
Matt Chorley: "If one of your MSPs did that, frontbenchers, would you sack them?"
Douglas Ross: "Yes they wouldn’t be in my frontbench with the language that’s been used. But I understand what the Prime Minister’s saying, there’s an investigation underway. And I don’t know all the details, but I’ve seen the messages…and I wouldn’t expect it from any of my colleagues in Holyrood."
A new national flagship championed by Boris Johnson to drive trade deals in post-Brexit Britain is dead after Rishi Sunak pulled the plug on the £250million publicly funded project, The Telegraph can disclose.
The two private consortia bidding for the work were told this morning that the project is being axed. An announcement is expected from the Ministry of Defence as soon as this afternoon.
There was hope today that at least one of the final bids can now attract private funding. The decision is the first major cut in spending ahead of the Autumn Statement which is set to axe tens of billions from government spending on Thursday next week.
You can read the full story here.
The Liberal Democrats have responded to Downing Street saying Rishi Sunak has full confidence in Sir Gavin Williamson (see the post below at 12.08) by calling for the Cabinet Office minister to be sacked.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Lib Dem chief whip, said: "Different Prime Minister, same old Conservative sleaze.
"If Rishi Sunak, had any sense of public duty, he would sack Gavin Williamson now. In any other workplace, someone who behaved as he did would have been rightly dismissed for gross misconduct."
Rishi Sunak told Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, that solutions need to be found to the "very real problems" being caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol when they met on the sidelines of the Cop27 summit in Egypt today.
A Downing Street readout of the meeting said: "On the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Prime Minister reiterated the need to find solutions to the very real problems it had created on the ground in Northern Ireland. They agreed on the importance of working together to agree a resolution."
It is perhaps interesting that the readout makes no mention of the Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill – the draft laws which would enable ministers to make unilateral changes to post-Brexit border rules. That would suggest that the new Government is more focused on doing a deal with Brussels than going it alone.
Downing Street has rebuffed criticism from China over the decision to send Greg Hands, the trade minister, to Taiwan for talks this week (See the post below 11.24).
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "We have long-established trade relationships with Taiwan. It is worth £8 billion a year. These are annual talks between the UK and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan.
"We have a vibrant, long-standing relationship on areas like trade and culture and this will form part of that engagement."
Climate reparations are not being discussed at the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt, Downing Street has said.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said the UK is "already helping countries across the world" deal with the impact of rising temperatures and it recognises "the existential threat it poses".
But he said: "My understanding is that neither reparations or liability is what is being discussed at Cop27. It is about working together to support climate vulnerable countries."
The spokesman added: "We are not talking about reparations or liability, we are talking about continuing to provide support for countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change."
Rishi Sunak believes Sir Gavin Williamson has an "important contribution" to make to the Government, Downing Street has said.
Asked why Mr Sunak gave Sir Gavin a ministerial role, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "Obviously he thinks he has an important contribution to make to Government."
Pressed on why Sir Gavin Williamson is still in post if Rishi Sunak views the texts he sent as unacceptable, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "Well, as you know, there is a process going on. I think, obviously, that’s run by the Conservative Party. So, it’s not one for me.
"I think the Prime Minister has said that it’s right to let that process happen and he welcomes that Gavin Williamson has expressed regret about those comments, which as you say he doesn’t think are acceptable."
Downing Street said Rishi Sunak does have full confidence in Sir Gavin Williamson amid a row over abusive text messages sent by the Cabinet Office minister.
Asked the question during a briefing with Westminster journalists, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "Yes."
Asked if Rishi Sunak supported Boris Johnson being at Cop27 in Egypt, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "I think the Prime Minister is of the view that it shows how high up the agenda it is for the UK that the Prime Minister is there, a former prime minister is there, and obviously His Majesty The King is a long-standing well-known environmentalist."
There is no scheduled meeting between Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson at Cop27 in Egypt today, Downing Street has said.
Both men are in Sharm El Sheikh to attend the climate change summit but they are not currently expected to meet.
Sir Keir Starmer has insisted his party is "united", amid accusations that the Labour left wing is being "purged".
The Labour leader told broadcasters: "We are preparing for the next election, the sooner the better. I am determined to have a team of incoming MPs, who are the team for the future.
"We will have a big challenge and so of course we are making sure we have got the very best candidates to put before the public for that general election which we so desperately need."
Rishi Sunak and Kenya’s president William Ruto congratulated each other on recently taking office as they met at the UN’s Cop27 climate summit. The pair smiled and shook hands at the start of their bilateral meeting.
Mr Ruto, who won Kenya’s August presidential elections, has said climate would be key to his government’s agenda and that he would take a leading role in negotiating the delivery of finance and technology to Africa to support nations dealing with the impacts of climate change.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres told leaders gathered for the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt that humanity is "in the fight of our lives" on climate change "and we are losing".
Addressing the Cop27 world leaders summit in Sharm El Sheikh, he said greenhouse gases kept growing, global temperatures kept rising and “our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible”.
He warned: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”
China has criticised the UK for sending trade minister Greg Hands to Taiwan for talks this week, with Beijing insisting that “official contacts” with the self-governing island republic must cease.
Mr Hands is due to meet President Tsai Ing-wen and co-host the UK-Taiwan 25th annual Trade Talks in Taipei during the two-day trip which starts today.
But China – which claims Taiwan as its own territory and has threatened to annex the island by force – has urged Britain to back off.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing that the UK should uphold the so-called “one-China principle” and stop “any forms of official contacts with Taiwan”.
Sir Keir Starmer said Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron need to discuss how to “work upstream” to tackle people smugglers bringing people across the Channel when the two leaders meet at the Cop27 summit in Egypt today.
Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to Imperial College London, the Labour leader was asked what his message would be to the French President ahead of an expected meeting between Mr Macron and the Prime Minister at 2pm.
He said: "The first thing is, of course, that France is, of course, our ally and that is very important when we are facing conflict in Ukraine, energy issues and the climate crisis.
"I would, of course, talk to President Macron about those who are crossing the Channel and the focus for my discussion would be on how we work upstream to stop the people smugglers. Before I was a politician I was director of public prosecutions, I know how these cross-border operations work.
"We would work with France, upstream, to stop the smugglers in the first place. That is the discussion I would have, I hope it is the discussion that our prime minister will have."
Sir Keir Starmer has criticised Rishi Sunak over his initial decision not to attend Cop27 in Egypt, promising that a Labour prime minister would work to “pull leaders together” on climate change.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Imperial College London this morning, the Labour leader said: "The first difference a Labour government would make is that you would have a prime minister who wanted to go to Cop because we realise just how important it is, because we realise that is not just about climate, it is also about the cost of living, it is about energy, it is about the next generation of jobs.
"You would have a prime minister, a Labour prime minister, on the world stage, pulling leaders together. I think Rishi Sunak made a big mistake in saying initially he wouldn’t go, because it gave the impression that the UK no longer wants to be leading on the global stage.
"I think that is a mistake for our country, it is a mistake globally and I think it is a mistake for the climate crisis, which we have got to handle."
Boris Johnson said the UK and other developed nations could not afford to pay climate reparations to the countries worst affected by rising temperatures.
Speaking at an event at Cop27 in Egypt, the former prime minister said: "The United Kingdom was one of, if not the first, industrialised nation. The first wisps of carbon came out of the factories and mills and foundries of the West Midlands 200 years ago. We started it all.
"There’s no question that per capita the people of the UK have put a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. What we cannot do is make up for that in some kind of reparations. We simply do not have the financial resources. No country could. What we can do is help with the technology that can help to fix the problem."
Boris Johnson has warned taxpayers in the developed world cannot be expected to foot the entire bill for tackling climate change.
The former prime minister said there is a "gap" between what countries have promised in terms of funding and what they have actually delivered on.
He told a Cop27 event hosted by The New York Times: "I think the way forward is not endlessly, the taxpayer in the developed world is going to have to do some things but it can’t do everything.
"The taxpayer in the developed world cannot do everything and certainly not right now."
Mr Johnson argued that using government activity to "trigger the private sector to come in" is the "real solution".
Britain has opened the door to paying climate change reparations to developing countries by supporting talks on the issue at the Cop27 summit.
UK negotiators at the summit in Egypt yesterday backed a last-minute agreement to address “loss and damage” payments to countries badly affected by climate-related disasters.
You can read the full story here.
World leaders are now posing for their traditional "family photo" as they attend the UN’s Cop27 summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Rishi Sunak was stood on the back row on the left-hand side.
Earlier he was greeted upon arrival by Israel’s President Isaac Herzog.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps said Rishi Sunak has "hit it off well" with French premier Emmanuel Macron and thinks they can make progress on reducing the number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "I was just for one week Home Secretary and I saw the extent of the problems with people being illegally transported across the Channel in dangerous conditions, and the more that we can work with our partners in France to stop people from leaving those shores in the first place, the better.
"One of the figures that’s really stuck out to me whilst I was in the Home Office as Home Secretary was the French had already stopped 29,000 people leaving their shores this year, if we can improve that, if we can stop more people from leaving, working with the French, then clearly that will relieve the pressure on our shores in Kent and elsewhere.
"And so I think that’s what the Prime Minister’s looking for in his discussions with President Macron and I think the two of them have hit if off well and I hope to see more progress there."
Rishi Sunak has met with Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt.
The pair chatted about house building and planning while journalists were in the room at the start of the bilateral meeting.
The Prime Minister and Ms Meloni, Italy’s first woman premier, took office within days of each other last month.
Ms Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party leads the country’s most right-wing government since the Second World War.
Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, said there will be "no miracle escape" from the consequences of climate change.
Speaking at an event at the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt, he said: "It was surely here, or hereabouts… that Moses miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea and led his people to the promised land.
"What I can tell you folks is this time there will be no miracle escape from the inundations and other potentially disastrous consequences of climate change."
He said that the UK had already suffered the impact, with temperatures hitting 40C this year. Making a joke about the high temperatures and his departure from No 10, Mr Johnson said: "Perhaps even contributing, who knows, to unexpected political turmoil that we saw in Westminster at that time."
Boris Johnson said the fight against climate change had been "one of the most important collateral victims" of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because it had caused some people to question the wisdom of a rapid shift towards renewable energy.
Speaking at an event at the Cop27 summit in Egypt, the ex-PM said: "There will be and are many victims of that grotesque miscalculation but I believe that climate change, the fight against climate change, has been one of the most important collateral victims because the spike in oil and gas prices and the consequent global inflation, the hikes in the cost of fertiliser and food, have had an impact here in Egypt, they have had an impact everywhere.
"They have led some of the naysayers to adopt a corrosive cynicism about Net Zero and people have started to say oh, we all went too far and too fast and we have been naive and utopian in our rush to move beyond hydrocarbons, that we have inflicted needless energy costs on our populations.
"People have drawn the conclusion, some people… who have drawn the conclusion that the whole project of Net Zero needs to be delayed, mothballed and put on ice and you know, for instance, we need to reopen coal fired power stations and frack the hell out of the British countryside.
"So I believe that here at Sharm is a moment when we really have to tackle this nonsense head on."
Mr Johnson said that now is "not the moment to abandon the campaign for Net Zero".
Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, is attending the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt and this morning he is delivering a speech at a "Climate Forward" event hosted by The New York Times.
Mr Johnson described himself as the "spirit of Glasgow, Cop26" as he praised the climate change achievements which were delivered at the summit in Scotland last November.
He warned that while progress has been made on tackling climate change he had been struck in the last 12 months by "how much damage has been done in just one year".
Mr Johnson said Glasgow was a "high point" in the struggle against rising global temperatures.
Nicola Sturgeon said there is an obligation on richer countries that have largely caused climate change to poorer nations which are suffering the impact of it.
She told the BBC: "I think this Cop is an opportunity for the global north and the global south to come together and have a proper, grown-up conversation about how we make progress.
"We’ve got to mitigate climate change, we’ve got to help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, but as we’ve seen over the past year, not least in Pakistan, there are many parts of the world that are suffering loss and damage now that is irreversible and can’t be mitigated against.
"There is an obligation in the spirit of solidarity for the richer countries that have largely caused climate change to now make a big effort to help those dealing with the impacts address that."
Grant Shapps said angry text messages sent by Gavin Williamson were "completely inappropriate" (you can read the overnight story here).
The Business Secretary told LBC Radio: "I think he must have been in a moment of frustration that I’m sure he regrets very deeply.
"It’s completely inappropriate to send messages like that under any circumstances, frustration or otherwise. It’s absolutely right that’s been looked into, there is a process under way."
He added: "There is no justification for writing to anybody in those terms. From time to time I get angry emails which go across the line, you know, just as a Member of Parliament – but they shouldn’t be sent and they certainly shouldn’t be sent by Members of Parliament."
Grant Shapps, the Business Secretary, said the "vast amount of work’s been done" on the Autumn Statement as he defended Rishi Sunak’s U-turn on attending the Cop27 summit.
The Prime Minister had initially said he would not go to Egypt to attend Cop27 because he wanted to focus on domestic issues but he subsequently changed his mind.
Mr Shapps told Sky News: "I think the Chancellor is still working very hard on it and I know that I’ve been working with the PM, the Chancellor … on the business, the climate, the energy aspects of that.
"I think the vast amount of work’s been done and so (Mr Sunak) felt it was appropriate to leave the country.
"But as ever … his first priority is to make sure that, particularly with that rather choppy period that we’ve been through, that things are stabilised here."
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said it is important that Cop27 builds on Cop26, which took place in Glasgow last year.
Speaking from Cop27 in Egypt, she told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: "I think Glasgow was a success, we didn’t get everything that had been hoped for going into Glasgow but I think the feeling coming out of Cop26 was that it was a good foundation to build on.
“It will only count if it is implemented, the commitments around keeping 1.5 degrees alive, the commitments around climate finance, mitigation, adaptation, crucially loss and damage, that now has to be implemented and this Cop here in Egypt is all about implementation.
"So, what happens here over the next couple of weeks is absolutely crucial now to our chances of keeping 1.5 alive and, to be blunt about it, saving the planet for generations to come."
Business Secretary Grant Shapps has said he was advised the Government was "in danger" of breaking the law over its processing of migrants when he briefly took the reins as home secretary from Suella Braverman.
Asked why he was keen to move migrants into hotels while he was in the role, he told Sky News: "Simply that we’ve got to be careful not to break the law ourselves by detaining people who are able to be outside of that – well, it’s not a detention centre, but a processing centre at Manston.
"So, really just a question of making sure that we were acting within the law. That’s something that the Home Secretary is continuing to do now.”
Pressed on whether that meant the Government was breaking the law previously, he said: "The advice I had was very clear – that we were in danger of doing that if we weren’t acting. I did act during six days in the job."
Today I will join leaders from across the world at @COP27P.
For our children and grandchildren, we must deliver on the legacy of Glasgow and protect the future of the planet. pic.twitter.com/tfbukFRBBC
Rishi Sunak has met with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for talks at the UN Cop27 climate summit in Egypt.
The one-on-one meeting this morning comes amid ongoing tensions with the bloc over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
As well as tackling climate change, the Ukraine war and energy crisis were also likely to have featured in the two leaders’ talks.
The pair smiled and thanked the media at the start of the meeting.It is the new Prime Minister’s first outing on the international stage since entering No 10 a fortnight ago.
There is an estimated £60billion blackhole at the heart of the public finances which ministers will look to fill at the Autumn Statement on November 17.
Reports have suggested that £35billion could be found through public spending cuts, with the other £25billion coming from tax rises.
Asked if "most" of the number will come through spending cuts, Grant Shapps, the Business Secretary, told Sky News: "Well, let’s wait and see. It’s your third attempt to tempt me into commenting on what will be in the Autumn Statement.
"Everyone knows it is really important that we do get these books to balance. We can’t leave this debt to future generations. Apart from anything else it worries the financial markets and that has the tendency to push up rates if we are not careful."
Grant Shapps has hinted that the windfall tax on oil and gas giants could be extended at the Autumn Statement on November 17.
He told Sky News: "I think that might be a clever way of asking me what is in the Autumn Statement again but we will be setting that out, the Chancellor will be setting that out, very shortly. I mean it is the case that because fuel prices have been so high there have been unexpected profits of course.
"But I think it is important that we do carry on investing, in making sure, not on fossil fuels, but on the renewable energy as well, that we have got the capacity, we have got the ability to get that market moving which is why the lithium refinery that I am talking about here in the north east today is so important.
"But you will need to wait, as I say, until the 17th, until the Autumn Statement on exactly which measures are in there."
Good morning and welcome to today’s politics live blog.
Rishi Sunak is in Egypt to attend the UN’s Cop27 climate change summit and he will hold a series of bilateral meetings with other world leaders – his first as Prime Minister.
Perhaps the most significant will be talks with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, which have been scheduled for early this afternoon. Mr Sunak is expected to challenge Mr Macron to do more to tackle the Channel migrant crossings crisis.
Meanwhile, back in the UK the row over Gavin Williamson’s text messages continues to rumble on as do questions about what will be in the Autumn Statement on November 17.
I will guide you through the key developments.
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