30-flight Alok Sharma wins Dowing St support ahead of COP26

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Several places visited by Mr Sharma were on the Covid red list, but he used an exemption for ministers to avoid return quarantines.

The president of this autumn’s COP26 climate summit remains in Brazil, meeting with state and business leaders.

The Government said face-to-face meetings were “crucial” ahead of the Glasgow event.

Conservative minister Lord Benyon said: “Sometimes in diplomacy you have to eyeball people.The planet needs COP to be a success. Lives depend on it.”

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But Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy described the volume of travel as “hugely worrying” and Lib Dem transport spokeswoman Sarah Olney said it showed there was “one rule for them and another for everybody else”.

Ordinary travellers face fines of up to £10,000 for breaking quarantine rules.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman backed his travel, adding: “The majority of this work is done remotely but some travel to key countries for face-to face talks is essential.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is not expected to isolate after flying to Scotland, this week, with a member of his staff who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Johnson did not come within two metres of them, a No. 10 spokesman said.

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