Donald Trump is set for a one-to-one meeting with environment secretary Michael Gove after the US president requested a get-together.
A source close to Gove confirmed Trump’s team asked for the meeting last night, and details are currently being ironed out.
Gove met Trump in January 2017, when he interview him for the Times in what was the first sit-down chat with a UK journalist after he won the US election.
Prior to the that interview, Gove had described Trump as “an intemperate, bullying, foul-mouthed panderer with no experience of public service, no record of charitable endeavour and no intention of paying his taxes.”
In a Commons debate on the environment on May 1, Gove said he would confront Trump over his views on climate change if he spoke to the president during his state visit.
He said: “I hope I might have the opportunity to make clear to the President of the United States when he comes here, perhaps over dinner—I will probably opt for a meat-free option on that evening—that as the world’s biggest polluter, he has to take responsibility.”
Trump has repeatedly spoken of his scepticism that human activity was causing Earth’s temperature to rise.
He pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on efforts to combat climate change, arguing implementing the plan would harm the US economy.
Gove, who is one of 12 candidates hoping to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, has sought to paint the Conservative’s as a the party of the environment since being recalled to the cabinet in 2017.
In April, Gove met with the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg to listen to her concerns.
After discussing the UK’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Gove said: “We have not done nearly enough”.