Boris Johnson 'set the tone' for row with Holyrood over COP26, says Nicola Sturgeon aide

Boris Johnson "set the tone" for the current row between Holyrood and Westminster over the forthcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, a spokesman for Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The Prime Minister's controversial claim last year that he didn't want the First Minister anywhere near the event coloured the "whole atmosphere" of the current debate, the spokesman added.But Ms Sturgeon has insisted she will be at the event in Glasgow later this year.

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Claims from deposed COP26 chief Claire O'Neill that that the SNP Government, along with UK ministers, has been playing politics with the issue were rejected by the spokesman."With respect, she's wrong on that front - that's absolutely not the way we intend to proceed," he said.He added: "It should be above and beyond party politics"This whole atmosphere around this was not helped by the Prime Minister (who) set the tone for this whole debate in the rather heady atmosphere of Tory party conference fringe saying he didn't want the First Minister anywhere near this."That is the sort of basis on which some of this has gone forward, that's deeply, deeply unfortunate."It's not the way we're briefing, it's not what we're talking about." Ms O'Neill also claimed today that Mr Johnson had refused to give Ms Sturgeon an official role at the Glasgow summit.

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But the First Minister made it clear that she intends to be there.

She tweeted: "I’ve attended 3 past COPs - Paris, Bonn, Katowice - at the invitation of the UN. I fully intend to be in Glasgow, my home city - and to play my part in making it a success for Scotland, the UK and the world."

The event is taking place at the Scottish Events Campus in November, but a row has broken out after the Scottish Government booked the nearby Glasgow Science centre as a hub for its own activities.There are now claims that COP26 organisers want this booking rescinded so that it can be used for official summit events.

Ms Sturgeon's spokesman added: "The booking for Glasgow science centre was made after the UK Government has already indicated what facilities and buildings it wanted for COP26.

Boris Johnson "set the tone" for the COP26 row

"The Scottish Government given it's happening in Scotland , given we have quite a lot to say about climate change, it would not be unreasonable for us to have a base."Some people may take issue, but that's what we've decided to do."Subsequent to the UK Government already booking and saying what it wanted in terms of buildings, logistics, etc...around the COP 26 campus, the Scottish Government booked the science centre."But he hinted that Holyrood could be ready to reach a compromise on this issue."We're happy to continue discussions with both the UK Government and the COP26 secrerariat," he said."We're absolutely committed and determined to having successful COP26 in Glasgow. We're continuing our discussions to ensure we play our role in that."