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UK climate change minister Graham Stuart resigns

file photo: british minister of state for energy security and net zero, graham stuart speaks to media at cop28 in dubai
Graham Stuart

Britain’s climate change minister Graham Stuart resigned from the government after eight years on Friday, saying it was the right time to step down.

Stuart said he would stand again for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in an election expected later this year, with the opposition Labour Party leading in polls by a large margin.

“Having served as a minister for most of the last eight years I have decided that now is the time to stand down,” he said in a letter to Sunak posted on social media platform X.

“I will continue to give you my full support from the backbenches.”

Sunak’s office said Justin Tomlinson, a former junior minister in the work and pensions department, would replace Stuart as climate minister.

Stuart represented Britain at last year’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai, although he attracted criticism from campaigners when he flew back to London for a vote on a policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda while the outcome of climate talks remained in the balance.

Stuart then returned to Dubai before the summit concluded.

Sunak thanked Stuart for his efforts in supporting Britain’s efforts in the clean energy transition, including the target to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“I understand your desire to step down as a minister,” Sunak said in a letter to Stuart.

“These jobs are all-consuming and you have served in Government almost continuously since 2016.”

Stuart, who was appointed to his climate role in September 2022, also held junior roles in the foreign and trade ministries.

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