Boris on the back foot at the UN – but at least he’s not in London

Boris on the back foot at the UN – but at least he’s not in London

While Jennifer Arcuri was being quizzed in the UK capital, the PM was messing it up in New York

If Boris Johnson had a little more self-awareness he might have reshuffled himself last week. The trip to the United Nations general assembly in New York was supposed to be the fun part of the job. A chance for the prime minister to do the things he likes best – rubbing shoulders and making crap gags with other world leaders – while his juniors were left back home trying to maintain the energy supply and offer vague reassurance that Christmas would not be cancelled. Yet instead he found himself repeatedly on the back foot, sounding as downbeat as all those ministers he had sacked for not showing enough mindless, Tiggerish enthusiasm.

To make matters worse, most of the damage was self-inflicted. Trying to drum up global support for the Cop26 summit by reminding everyone he had written several articles 20 years ago that had been sceptical of climate change wasn’t the brightest idea he had ever had. It just made him look like the untrustworthy chancer most people thought him to be. Nor did his excuse that when the facts changed he changed, help greatly. No one could remember the facts about climate science having changed that much over the last two decades.

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