As part of the new Prime Minister’s ‘bloodbath’ clear out of the previous government’s cabinet members and ministers, Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes Constituency since 2010, has lost her job as Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, which she had held since January 2018.
Her boss at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, has been sacked and is replaced by Andrea Leadsom.
However, Boris Johnson has offered Mrs Perry and she has accepted, the job of President of next year’s United Nations climate change conference which Britain will co-host with Italy. The conference is known as COP26 where the 26 figure marks it as the UN’s 26th climate change conference.
Mrs Perry tweeted – [and see below]: “Delighted to accept new PM’s offer to become COP26 President, working closely with him but in order to do the job properly I suggested that I relinquish the broader Clean Growth and Energy portfolio and he has agreed.”
Reporting Mrs Perry’s move, the news website BusinessGreen wrote: “The COP Presidency is seen as a vital diplomatic role tasked with shepherding countries towards agreement at the notoriously fractious UN climate negotiations.”
“It will be a particularly high pressure post for COP26, which the UK is set to co-host and is seen as a crunch test of whether the consensus reached at the Paris Agreement in 2015 will hold. The treaty is slated to come into full effect at the summit and all countries will be under intense pressure to strengthen their national climate action plans ahead of the event.”
It is not clear what is behind her departure from her government role which included a seat in Cabinet. In 2016 she had campaigned for Remain, but had strongly supported Mrs May’s attempts to leave the EU with an agreement.
However, she may have had some doubts about the new Prime Minister. On July 13, when Boris Johnson got caught out not knowing about a vital part of World Trade Organisation rules, she tweeted: “Come on Boris Johnson you are better than this. Article 24 Para 5 clauses B and C go together.” And she then sent off the relevant clauses: “Just make sure he reads this Liz [Truss?].”