Boris Johnson jokes that ‘unbearable’ heatwave in London might have sparked MP coup against him this summer – as he denies trying to upstage Rishi Sunak at COP27 summit

  • Boris Johnson is attending the COP27 summit in Egypt as well as Rishi Sunak
  • The ex-PM denied trying to upstage Mr Sunak saying he is now just ‘foot soldier’
  • Mr Johnson joked that coup against him this summer might be due to heatwave  

Boris Johnson today joked that the ‘unbearable’ heatwave in London this summer could have triggered the coup against him.

The former PM speculated on the effect of the heat – regarded as evidence of climate change – as he spoke at the COP27 summit in Egypt.

Mr Johnson also denied he was upstaging Rishi Sunak by attending the gathering, saying he was now merely a ‘foot soldier and spear carrier’ for the Conservatives.

He told the New York Times event that he was acting as the ‘spirit’ of the COP26 summit that was held in Glasgow during his premiership last year. 

Mr Johnson was forced to step down from Downing Street after a wave of ministerial resignations – including that of Mr Sunak – made his position untenable.

Following the collapse of the administration formed by successor Liz Truss, he then dramatically pulled out of the Conservative leadership contest at the last moment.

Boris Johnson speculated on the effect of the heat – regarded as evidence of climate change – as he spoke at the COP27 summit in Egypt.

Mr Johnson also denied he was upstaging Rishi Sunak (pictured) by attending the gathering, saying he was now merely a ‘foot soldier and spear carrier’ for the Conservatives

Mr Sunak originally said he would not join the COP27 summit as he was busy trying to deal with the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.   

But he U-turned after Mr Johnson declared he would attend, and is Egypt urging a ‘global mission for clean growth’.

Mr Sunak is facing a difficult test as developing countries demand ‘reparations’ for extreme weather events caused by climate change – as the UK imposing swingeing austerity and tax rises at home.

Nicola Sturgeon – who has also jetted in for the summit – upped the pressure this morning, saying there is an ‘obligation’ on richer countries to help ‘deal with the impacts’. 

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said there is a ‘discussion’ to be had over how to help countries cope with the fallout from climate change. 

However, Mr Johnson played down the prospect saying the UK ‘simply doesn’t have the financial resources’ to pay reparations and ‘no country does’.

He argued that the focus should be on boosting technological solutions. ‘Let’s look to the future,’ he added.

Mr Sunak has dismissed suggestions there will be an awkward encounter with Mr Johnson, insisting there is ‘no hatchet to be buried’. 

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