ALOK Sharma has been appointed Business Secretary and minister for the UN climate change summit due to take place in Glasgow later this year.

The former international development secretary and employment minister was given the role after Andrea Leadsom was sacked. 

Back in October 2018, the MP for Reading West previously rattled SNP feathers over the roll-out of Universal Credit. 

Asked by SNP MP David Linden whether he had visited local housing associations in Glasgow to see how the roll-out of the new welfare policy was going, Sharma said: "Mr Speaker I apologise if I haven’t been to Scotland yet."

READ MORE: WATCH: Employment minister Alok Sharma admits to not visiting Scotland during Universal Credit roll out

Above jeers in the Commons, Sharma continued: "I hope I will put that right in near time."

He went on: "But I have been going up and down the country to job centres talking to them and I have to say to him that it is working. Universal credit is working."

The comments drew criticism online at the time given the problems with the Tories' flagship welfare policy and the lack of urgency the party demonstrated over the need to fix it.

Universal Credit, which rolls six benefits into one, has been plagued with delays since its initial launch. Some recipients were forced to wait up to five weeks for their first payment.

There have been cross-party calls to scrap the benefit altogether. The roll-out was recently delayed for a further nine months at an estimated cost of £500bn.

As chair for the UN's COP26 climate change summit in November, Sharma will oversee the organisation of the major event - expected to be the most important environmental talks since the Paris Agreement of 2015.

Former chair of the summit Claire Perry O'Neill was sacked from the role by Dominic Cummings, with Downing Street claiming the position was to be ministerial from now on. 

Perry O'Neill was highly critical of the UK Government's approach to the event, even suggesting that Boris Johnson's personal animosity towards First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was endangering the talks.