THE LEADER of the council says he will tackle the climate breakdown despite being caught flying to COP26.

Phélim Mac Cafferty was under pressure to resign after it was revealed he flew to Glasgow to attend the climate change conference last week.

However, the Brighton and Hove City Council leader has received the backing of the Green Party and will remain in charge.

In a statement released on Friday evening, Cllr Mac Cafferty shared his “unreserved apologies” for his actions.

“Since becoming leader last July I have consistently and persistently fought hard for the city we all call home,” he said.

“Alongside my Green councillor colleagues, we commit to continue doing our very best for Brighton and Hove.

“With climate breakdown, a concerning budget picture, an affordable housing crisis, all combined with the need for a fair and just recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have really substantial challenges ahead and I reaffirm my commitment to ensure the city council takes a lead to tackle them head-on.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty took a plane from London to Glasgow on the same day he criticised the government for a "lack of action" over climate change.

After completing the 460-mile journey, Cllr Mac Cafferty made a speech on cutting carbon emissions and appeared at a protest march, led by Greta Thunberg, calling for world leaders to stop temperatures rising.

The politician, who co-chairs the council’s carbon neutral working group, admitted the blunder after The Argus questioned how he travelled to Scotland.

However, a Green Party spokesman said the party has “full faith” in Cllr Mac Cafferty’s ability to lead the council.

“Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty made a regrettably bad decision in his travel choice. We believe that he issued uncharacteristically poor judgement in choosing to travel by plane for this event and it is correct that he has apologised for this.

“We have received assurances that this will not be repeated.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty said he chose to fly to Glasgow amid concerns his train might be cancelled.

The blunder came just days after he 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.