A CONSERVATIVE minister and president of the upcoming COP26 climate conference has come under fire after flying to 30 countries in a matter of months and claiming exemption from Covid rules while doing so.

According to reports, Alok Sharma visited a host of countries at the start of the year when international travel from Britain was largely banned.

The Daily Mail reported that Sharma visited Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya since February.

He took trips to India, Costa Rica, Qatar and the UAE in March with April including trips to the Far East, before he travelled to Bangladesh in June as the UK continued to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Not all of the countries visited were return trips to the UK with several countries visited at once before returning. 

It is understood that the Conservative MP did not have to isolate after any of the journeys as he was exempt from such actions as a “crown servant”.

It is thought that six of the countries visited were on the UK's red list at the time.

The shadow justice secretary has said that reports Tory MP Alok Sharma has flown to 30 nations in the last seven months without self-isolating are “hugely worrying”.

Asked about a story, Labour MP David Lammy told LBC: “That’s hugely worrying. I mean, the lack of self-isolation is bizarre and dangerous. And I think that it is probably impossible not to fly, of course, but I think he should be leading by example clearly.”

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Lammy added the “optics” of reports of Alok Sharma flying to 30 nations in seven months are “it’s one rule for them and another rule for us”.

Asked on Sky News about the Government minister’s flights abroad and lack of self-isolation, the Labour MP said: “Well, the optics are very clear – it’s one rule for them and another rule for us, whether it’s Dominic Cummings, whether it’s Matt Hancock, whether it’s Alok Sharma.

“Of course some international travel is required, but this amount of international travel when you’re climate change minister feels to me bizarre, and feels to not be setting the example.”

A government spokesperson said: “Helping the world tackle the climate emergency is an international priority for the government.

"Virtual meetings play a large part, however face to face meetings are key to success in the climate negotiations the UK is leading as hosts of COP26 and are crucial to understanding first-hand the opportunities and challenges other countries are facing in the fight against climate change.”

Glasgow is hosting COP26, which will mark the first time since the Paris Climate Change conference in 2015 that new emission targets will be set.