SENIOR UK Government officials have been forced to apologise after an Israeli minister was barred from COP26 because it was not wheelchair accessible.

Karine Elharrar, who has muscular dystrophy, said she was “sad” to miss meetings at the climate summit.

The UK’s ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, apologised "deeply and sincerely" to the minister.

He wrote: "We want a COP Summit that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone."

Boris Johnson has reportedly invited Elharrar to join a meeting with the Israeli PM on Tuesday.

COP26 is a UN event, but is being hosted by the UK Government in Glasgow. 

Elharrar, who is serving as energy minister, told Israel's Channel 12 that she could not get onto the grounds of the conference because the only options were to either walk or take a shuttle that was not suitable for a wheelchair.

Her office told the Times of Israel she waited outside the venue in Glasgow for two hours, and she was eventually forced to return to her hotel in Edinburgh, 50 miles away.

According to the BBC, an official in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's delegation said they had formally complained to organisers. They warned they would not attend on Tuesday if Elharrar could not access the summit.

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Elharrar wrote on Twitter: “To COP26 I came to meet with my counterparts around the world and promote a joint fight against the climate crisis. It is sad that the UN, which promotes accessibility for people with disabilities, in 2021, does not take care of accessibility at its events.

“I hope that the lessons required to be learned tomorrow to promote green energies, remove barriers and energy efficiency will be the things I deal with.”

Her plight attracted a quick response from senior UK officials, with Foreign Office minister James Cleverly replying: “I am deeply disappointed and frustrated that Minister @KElharrar could not access COP today.

“The COP venue is designed to be accessible for all. I have spoken to the Minister about this and I look forward to meeting her tomorrow.”

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy, who is also a wheelchair user, criticised the "epic planning failure".

She wrote on Twitter "This is outrageous. From travel to the conference in an inaccessible shuttle (like, seriously) to no one being able to direct to the accessible route, this is an epic planning failure.

"We cannot have climate justice without social justice. They need to sort this ASAP."

Elharrar later thanked Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, for helping her with the access issue.

"At the end of this day I would like to thank the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom @TzipiHotovely  Who did everything to solve the problem in real time and made sure there was someone to apologize in retrospect."

A COP26 spokesperson said: "This was a genuine mistake and we have apologised to Minister Elharrar – we look forward to her attendance at COP26 today.”

“We remain committed to an inclusive event accessible to all and the venue was designed to facilitate that.”