THE DECISION by the leader of the Green city council to fly to a climate convention has been branded as "absolutely disgusting".

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty is under mounting pressure to quit after it was revealed he flew to Glasgow to attend COP26 on Friday.

Following his apology to The Argus, Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett labelled the leader a "hypocrite" and called on the Greens to relinquish control of the city council

Cllr Barnett added: "Well I think it is absolutely disgusting.

"He stands there preaching and bleaching and saying what we should do but he doesn't follow the rules. It is very hypocritical of him.

"I would like to see the Greens step down as a party."

After completing the 460-mile journey, Cllr Mac Cafferty made a speech on cutting carbon emissions.

He also appeared at a protest march calling for world leaders to stop temperatures rising.

Councillor Robert Nemeth said the move has "damaged enviromental causes".

He told The Argus: "“There is certainly no issue with flying per se.

The Argus: Cllr Barnett wants to see the Green Party step downCllr Barnett wants to see the Green Party step down

"We can’t all be perfect environmentalists after all and must surely each do our best to live responsible lives in our own individual ways.

"Issues arise though when somebody takes extreme positions on environmental matters, which invariably involves criticising others, and then does not live by those same rules.

"Such hypocrisy is not lost on the public at large and ultimately damages environmental causes.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty has since unreservedly apologised for taking flight for around 1 hour 20 minutes - saying he had been worried his train might be cancelled.

The blunder comes just days after Cllr Mac Cafferty claimed in his weekly Argus column that Brighton and Hove was "leading the way on climate and social action".

Green MP Caroline Lucas was also in Glasgow for the conference but confirmed to The Argus that she had travelled by train.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said he had been “concerned about the unreliability of the rail network” which previously left people struggling to get to COP26.

At the end of last month, operators from the east and west coast mainlines advised against people travelling from London to Glasgow amid stormy weather across the UK.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said: “On the Friday evening just gone, I took a flight from London to Glasgow to attend COP26 where I had been invited to represent the city at a presentation of the Glasgow Declaration on Saturday morning.

“This decision to fly was a major failure of my judgement which goes against my political group’s pledges and principles and I unreservedly apologise.

“I reluctantly took this very difficult decision because I was concerned about the unreliability of the rail network following the well-publicised difficulties experienced by many people wanting to travel by train to Glasgow the week before, when trains were cancelled.

“I was concerned that this would happen again and I felt it was important not to miss the opportunity to attend the important presentation on behalf of the city, lobby world leaders and share with others the innovative work taking place in Brighton and Hove.

“I paid for my own transport and all associated costs. I am not getting paid for any of the speeches I am making or meetings I am attending and I am otherwise working from Glasgow.

“Transport contributes a large portion of carbon emissions, all significant journeys we make have an effect on our climate. I will be offsetting the carbon cost of my journey.

“I will be taking my return journey on train. Again, I apologise unreservedly.”