Boris Johnson bans UK Ministers from Davos 2020

After confirming that he would not be attending the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next month personally, Boris Johnson has reportedly barred Ministers from appearing at the summit.

Boris Johnson bans UK Ministers from Davos 2020

The three-day summit will close on 24 January - just one week before the UK is due to leave the EU

According to reports by several major news outlets including Bloomberg and The Times, Johnson has today (18 December) told his cabinet members that they should be busy delivering on election promises rather than “sipping champagne with billionaires”.

The move comes as the Prime Minister works towards a 31 January deadline for Brexit. His new Withdrawal Agreement is expected to be put to Ministers as early as the end of this week.

Moreover, Johnson is thought to be attempting to shake the Conservative Party’s reputation as a champion of the upper classes, after Tory MPs were voted in by residents in many constituencies historically regarded as working-class.

Johnson attended every iteration of the WEF during his tenure as Mayor of London – but after the 2013 summit, he made headlines by describing it as “a great big constellation of egos involved in massive mutual orgies of adulation”. 

He is not the only prominent figure to have criticised the summit, with several others having questioned the ethics of hosting lavish dinners in opulent surroundings, and flying in guests in private jets, for talks around environmental issues.

The WEF itself, however, maintains that the event is important in the green calendar. The body’s overview of the 2020 event states that discussions will centre around climate and biodiversity challenges; transforming industries to champion social and environmental benefits; ensuring that the Fourth Industrial Revolution delivers benefits across the triple bottom line; and how business models must be transformed in response to global megatrends.

“On key topics like climate, mobility, energy and the circular economy, our platforms aim to facilitate action-oriented communities of stakeholders from all parts of the international system,” The WEF said in a statement.

This year’s WEF attracted more than 3,000 attendees, including celebrities, policymakers, world leaders and business representatives, with key discussions largely centring on waste and resources. You can read edie’s full recap of the three-day summit here.

Sarah George

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