Boris Johnson has made a rare apology to an Israeli minister who was unable to attend the COP26 conference in Glasgow in her wheelchair.

The PM told Karine Elharrar, Israel’s energy minister, that he was sorry for the “confusion” when he met her face-to-face before a meeting with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, who called the incident a “learning opportunity”.

Elharrar, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, told Israel’s Channel 12 she had been “unable to attend” because the only available transportation – a shuttle bus – was not “wheelchair accessible”. She was then taken to several entrances but was unable to get in, so she returned to her Edinburgh hotel.

It’s not Boris’s style to say sorry, and the fact he’s felt compelled to do so shows the magnitude of the gaffe.

The PM’s intervention follows a half-hearted apology by George Eustice, the environment secretary, who said Elharrar should have communicated she “had that particular need”.

Despite the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities promising to enable people “to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life”, the conference organisers have made life burdensome for physically impaired attendees. This is despite the Scottish Event Campus having a Gold Award for visitors with mobility difficulties by the charity attitude. Back to the drawing board…