Downing Street said the absence of the Prime Minister did not mean environmental issues had slipped down the agenda as three cabinet ministers – the foreign, business and environment secretaries – would attend the summit, just a year after the event was held in Glasgow and attended by Boris Johnson.
Ms Dorries said on Twitter it was wrong for Mr Sunak not to attend because global warming was one of the “biggest crises facing our planet”.
She challenged the former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg on his assertion that Mr Sunak was right not to attend, tweeting: “For balance, my friend the Prime Minister is wrong not to go to COP.
For balance, my friend…The Prime Minister is WRONG not to go to COP. Global warming is the biggest crisis facing our planet and net zero creates many 1000s of jobs which is good for the economy. COP in Glasgow was most successful ever… but don’t expect media to report that https://t.co/YGkc66wts7
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) October 28, 2022
“Global warming is the biggest crisis facing our planet and net zero creates many 1,000s of jobs, which is good for the economy. COP in Glasgow was most successful ever Â but don’t expect media to report that.”
The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, said Mr Sunak’s absence amounted to a “failure of leadership”.
The Prime Minister should not just attend the conference, he said, but "pull world leaders together", adding that British people who could not pay their energy bills expected Mr Sunak to be “on the world stage sorting these problems out”.
King Charles will also not be attending the summit, Downing Street said.
The former Prime Minister Liz Truss had asked the King not to attend the talks, and Mr Sunak has left that request in place, No10 confirmed yesterday.
The monarch is passionate about the climate emergency but, according to Downing Street, it was “unanimously agreed” by Buckingham Palace and the Government that he would not attend.