The outspoken MLA from Edmonton who criticized Alberta Premier Alison Redford's expensive trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral will remain in the Progressive Conservative caucus.

Steve Young publicly criticized Redford for her trip to South Africa, which cost approximately $45,000 of taxpayer money.

But heading into caucus Thursday, Redford seemed eager to brush the matter aside, along with the rumours he’d be removed from caucus.

“You know I think Steve's comments are very valid,” she said. “That's why I said what I did a couple of weeks ago. This was something that was unfortunate. I apologized and took responsibility for it.

"You know in our caucus everyone can express their point of view.”

Young was not available for an interview, but in an email to the Canadian Press he wrote: "I was elected first to represent Edmonton-Riverview and Alberta and I will continue to do so within the PC caucus."

Young, 44, is a former police officer, educator and hockey player drafted by the New York Islanders in 1989. In April 2012, he was elected as a Tory and was named government whip.

He was also rewarded a new post, as associate minister in charge of public safety in December. But on the night before the cabinet swearing-in, Young was told by Redford's office he was out because of renewed concern over a 2007 internal investigation into his Tasering a suspect while Young served with the Edmonton police.

He was exonerated, although the presiding officer said he had concerns about the "disjointed" nature of Young's testimony.

Redford said when she learned of that, she rethought the cabinet appointment and gave the post instead to Rick Fraser.

With files from The Canadian Press