Boris Johnson said he is 'not in favour of more coal' but insisted the potential new colliery in Cumbria was 'not a decision for me'.

The Prime Minister said he was 'absolutely clear' that he did not want more mines, as world leaders gathered in Glasgow for the Cop26 climate change summit.

Coal firm West Cumbria Mining (WCM) wants to open a deep coal mine on the former Marchon chemical works on the outskirts of Whitehaven, Cumbria, to mine metallurgical or coking coal for use in the steel industry.

The development, first proposed in 2017, has been approved three times by Cumbria County Council but in March, then communities secretary Robert Jenrick decided to 'call in' the application so that an inquiry could be held to explore the arguments put forward by both supporters and opponents of the proposal.

Under sustained questioning over whether he will allow the new mine in Cumbria, Mr Johnson told the BBC: “I’m not in favour of more coal, let’s be absolutely clear, but it’s not a decision for me.

“It’s a decision for local planning authorities.”

The public hearings concluded on October 1 and planning inspector Stephen Normington said he would make his recommendation in late December or early January.

In October, Mr Johnson said 'we don’t want to support new coal mines' but Downing Street stressed he was talking 'in broader terms' rather than about the Whitehaven plan.