BORIS Johnson appeared to U-turn on claims that Nicola Sturgeon shouldn’t be “anywhere near” the upcoming UN climate conference in COP26 during an interview with the BBC last night.

The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to Scotland with his focus on the COP26 summit, which will be held in Glasgow in November.

Yesterday he met with Police Scotland chiefs to discuss how the major event will be policed before travelling to the north east to visit a renewables project there.

In 2019, shortly after being elected Tory leader, Johnson told the Conservative conference that Scotland’s First Minister shouldn’t have a role in the key summit.

"I’ll tell you what we’ll do. We make sure – with every policy we pursue, with every investment we make in Scotland, then we put a Union flag on it,” he told Tory members.

READ MORE: WATCH: Johnson says he doesn't want FM 'anywhere near' climate summit

“For instance, the COP26 climate change summit that’s going to be held ... the leaders of the entire world will come to Glasgow.

"I guess I don’t mind seeing a Saltire or two on that summit, but I want to see a Union flag – I don’t want to see Nicola Sturgeon anywhere near it."

The First Minister’s spokesman said at the time that people would be “deeply embarrassed” to hear the PM speak “so childishly”.

During this week’s Scotland visit, Johnson was challenged over the comments. BBC political editor Glenn Campbell asked if Sturgeon had been invited to join the COP26 event given his 2019 claims.

“Well of course there’s going to be a role for Nicola, for Mark Drakeford, for everybody in the COP26,” Johnson responded.

“It’s a huge undertaking by the whole of the UK,” he went on. “Every part of the UK is now working together. What we’ve got to do is we’ve got to lead the world to get everyone to commit to net-zero by 2050, don’t forget it was the UK … well I hope very much that the First Minister and all her colleagues around the UK at whatever level in government will evangelise, will exhort everybody that she represents and they represent to the … we need to restrict the warming to 1.5 degrees …”

READ MORE: COP26: Tories accused of being 'missing in action' on climate change

Pressed again to explain what role the First Minister would play, Johnson added: “I’m sure that she will be wanting to use all her influence as indeed will every leader of a devolved administration, everybody who will be at the COP, everybody representing the UK at every level to achieve this. 1.5%, we’ve got to stop the world warming any further. There will be catastrophic consequences.”

This morning the Prime Minister boarded a ship on his way to visit an offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth.

Johnson and business minister Kwasi Kwarteng walked aboard the ship in Fraserburgh harbour in Aberdeenshire. The Prime Minister is heading to the Moray East wind farm development, which is currently under construction.