I WAS concerned to learn from your pages of Claire Perry O’Neill’s removal as president from the climate summit to take place in Glasgow later this year (“Glasgow climate summit president is axed”, The Herald, February 1).

Given the current record of Downing Street, the impulse to take tight control of such a prestigious, and almost certainly controversial, event should come as no surprise. It is also no surprise, and entirely characteristic of the attitude to the public of this administration, that the announcement of this decision should have been made anonymously, with no plausible explanation given.

The Prime Minister is the man who before last year’s General Election hid in a fridge to evade scrutiny, and on another occasion, for the same reason, appropriated a journalist’s phone. That is before we include the earlier and more serious matter of his unlawful prorogation of Parliament.

The fact that no climate cabinet meeting has been so far held by Boris Johnson since the start of his tenure as leader, as well as his turning the climate issue into a joke when questioned about it, is indicative of where it stands in his priorities.

When we now have possibly only 15 precious years left in which to act in order to prevent irreversible climate change, we cannot afford to have the needs of Mr Johnson’s flippant and presumptuous ego impeding progress for the next four of these.

On an issue as urgent and important as the impending global emergency, transparency and honesty are of the utmost importance, and on this he and his Cabinet should be challenged without quarter at every turn.

Robert Bell, Cambuslang.

BORIS Johnson's decision to replace Claire O'Neill as president of this year's UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow is very much for the best. The former minister was far too close to the Extinction rebels, the lunatic fringe of the green movement intent on turning COP26 into an embarrassment for the UK government.

In view of the deadlock in international climate negotiations since Paris, environmentalists are well aware that COP26 is likely to implode and the Thunberg-Attenborough-Sturgeon troupe will be tempted to turn the conference into a "Bash-Boris" farce. The Tories really need to manage expectations very carefully.

Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

ON reading Tom Gordon's article (“First Minister’s ‘next steps’ lead her and the SNP back to Groundhog Day”, The Herald, February 1) I realised that my hope is that the more parochial contributors to the Letters Pages can be persuaded to turn their attention away from their endless debate on independence.

It is obvious that Brexit is going to remain a very live issue with the ongoing negotiations on our future relationship with the EU27 proceeding throughout 2020. However, with the debate on IndyRef2 hopefully on the back burner at least until the campaigning starts for the 2021 Holyrood elections in earnest, space will be found for letters on the climate crisis which puts all other issues, including even Brexit, in the shade. Even though climate change, loss of biodiversity and so on amazingly seems to be a minority interest amongst your readers I look forward to space being found for letters on an issue upon which the future, not least that of our grandchildren, depends.

We cannot let the irrational opinions of the deniers remain unchallenged.

John Milne, Uddingston.