THE ROW over the COP26 climate summit could rule out Scotland from hosting future major international conferences, according to a senior Labour politician.

Ian Murray, the party's only Scottish Labour MP, said the animosity between the Scottish and UK Governments over the summit in Glasgow could have a lasting impact on the country's reputation, and deter organisers from agreeing to hold such large-scale events north of the Border.

Speaking to The Herald on Sunday, Murray said bodies had to put aside their "childish squabbling" if the event was to be a success, but warned there was a danger of Scotland being frozen out of such events in future if relations continue to crumble.

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Murray, who is running for deputy leadership of the UK Labour Party, wrote to both Nicola Sturgeon and the new COP26 president Alok Sharma on Friday, calling for them to come together.

He said: "With COP26, it is a UK conference, that happens to be geographically in Scotland. Yes, the Scottish Government should take a key role in that, but it is UK conference and both governments must work together.

"I thought Nicola Sturgeon would have put out the hand of friendship, and said let's get this sorted rather than the way she has acted, but they're both as bad as each other.

"The consequence might also be, in addition to ruining our opportunity to really drive this climate change agenda, it could end up that major conferences don't come to Scotland again.

"Can you imagine the transformation we could have in places like Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, if we had these major international conferences, that are Government driven, in Scotland? That could be jeopardised.

"In 50 years time we could be talking about 'the Glasgow agreement' that resolved the climate crisis. That would be amazing, but at this moment in time the headline is just going to be 'Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson hate each other'. It completely idiotic, they must sort it out."

Murray said that the COP26 row is the biggest symbol of the growing animosity between Boris Johnson and the First Minister.

Last week it emerged that the Scottish Government has organised its own drug summit in Glasgow, the day before the UK Government's conference on the same subject. Both events will take place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), on February 26 and 27.

Scottish ministers said they were surprised the UK Government's event did not include people with lived experience of drug use, and so decided to hold their own conference to ensure drug users were included.

A Westminster COP26 spokeswoman said: "We are working closely with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland to ensure we deliver a world class COP that reflects how seriously the responsibility we all have to tackle climate change."

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A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The Scottish Government has worked constructively with Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, the UK Government and other partners to secure the safe and successful delivery of COP26 from the moment Glasgow was confirmed as the venue.

“As the First Minister repeated in her letter to the Prime Minister this week, Scotland looks forward to welcoming the United Nations delegates and participants from around the world later this year and to working with Alok Sharma to deliver a successful COP26 event and build on Glasgow’s strong track record at hosting major international events.”