Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Mr Huhne said it was vital for him to stay in Cancun. Junior minister Greg Barker will still fly home, however.

Mr Huhne criticised Labour for refusing to ‘pair’ over the vote; a process where a Labour MP could also withdraw from the vote, to make the voting fairer.

He said: “It is hugely regrettable that Ed Miliband’s Labour Party has decided to put short-term political point scoring ahead of the long-term interests of the planet. They are putting the next two days ahead of the next two generations,” he said.

Labour said the Lib Dems were to blame as they had called the vote at the same time as key climate change talks and called for the vote to be delayed.

On negotiations at the Climate Conference Mr Huhne said: “The answer has to be compromise.

“We cannot do everything here but we can make progress on mitigation, deforestation, adaptation, finance, reporting and more.

“And restore momentum to the global process – concrete steps to the treaty we want.

“We believe that the future of the Kyoto Protocol is vital to the success of this process.”

Alison Brown

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