LABOUR MP Ian Murray has called for the First Minster and the new COP26 president to put aside their differences for the sake of the conference.

Alok Sharma, who was appointed as conference chief yesterday in Boris Johnson's reshuffle, and Nicola Sturgeon both received letters this morning from the MP.

The politician, who is running for deputy leadership of the Labour party, accused the both Scottish and Westminster governments of "weaponising the political row" and called for an end to "game-playing" between the Tories and the SNP.

In his letter to Sturgeon, Murray said he was "a fellow proud Scot" who wanted to "ensure the conference is a huge success", adding: "It is clear that the UK Government is far behind in its preparations for this global event.

"Not only is the UK failing to lead by example when it comes to our own climate targets, the logistics of hosting the conference have seen the independent COP26 President stripped of her role, threats to move to the summit to London, and ridiculous comments from the Prime Minister aimed at the Scottish Government."

He also told Sturgeon that it was "clear" the Scottish Government had "weaponised the political row because it builds on your grievance narrative towards Westminster" and added: "Frankly, the environment is too important for game-playing between two parties.

"I therefore urge you to put aside all differences with the UK Government and commit to working closely with UK ministers to ensure that COP26 is a huge success, delivering a global agreement to tackle the climate crisis. For the sake of the planet, this has to happen."

The letter to Sharma was almost identical to Sturgeon's, with Murray warning the new conference chief: "In your new role, I urge you to bring more urgency to the preparations, commit to hosting the summit in Glasgow, and stop picking fights with the Scottish Government."

Murray said: “The stakes couldn’t be higher.

“The COP26 summit in Glasgow is about the future of everyone living on this planet.

“But the UK is not on course to meet its own climate targets, and there has been a distinct lack of urgency from the Tory Government, which has instead been looking to pick fights with the SNP Government in Edinburgh, even threatening to shift the event to London.

“The game-playing and bickering has to stop, and there must be a new urgency to preparations and a firm commitment to host the summit in Glasgow.

“The SNP is also exploiting the row, as nationalists are always desperate for division and disagreement.

“But the environment is far too important to become a pawn in this battle between two political parties.

“For the sake of the planet, the First Minister and Alok Sharma must put their differences aside and work together to ensure that COP26 is a huge success, with Britain leading the world and delivering a global agreement to tackle the climate crisis.”

The Cabinet office and the Scottish Government have been contacted for comment.