‘Blatant hypocrisy’ as SNP councillor driven in private car six times to and from COP26

‘Blatant hypocrisy’ as SNP councillor driven in private car six times to and from COP26

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Susan Aitken made six journeys using the car to travel from her home to the Scottish Event Campus where the summit was being held. A Freedom of Information request response from Glasgow City Council revealed Ms Aitken used the private car to travel to and from the summit on November 1 and 2 last year.

She also used her car, which was driven by a council official, to travel from her home to the summit on October 31, the day it officially opened, and on November 8.

Despite the environmental nature of the event a set of limousines belonging to world leaders were pictured outside the venue including a large motorcade accompanying US President Joe Biden.

It is understood Ms Aitken lives near a train station in Glasgow’s south side.

Transport was also available for delegates in the form of electric shuttle buses to allow them to travel quickly from the city centre to the conference venue.

SNP Cop 26

Susan Aitken was driven to COP26 in a private car (Image: Getty Images )

SNP COP26

Ms Aitken lives close to a Glasgow train station (Image: Daily Record )

During the conference Ms Aitken welcomed mayors from around the world to Glasgow arguing “cities are the leaders in the race to net zero”.

She also argued they could “raise” the ambitions of the governments around the negotiating table.

Ms Aitken, who doesn’t drive, also announced cars would be banned from Glasgow city centre over the next five years as part of a £30billion plan to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.

Glasgow City Council said the majority of her travel to the conference was by shuttle bus and added that any car used was a low- or zero-emission hydrogen or electric vehicle.

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SNP COP 26

Ms Aitken wants to ban cars from Glasgow City Centre over the next few years (Image: Daily Record )

However, the revelation is likely to be deeply embarrassing ahead of next month’s council elections and because the SNP is in coalition with the Scottish Greens at Holyrood.

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Tories’ shadow net-zero secretary, blasted Ms Aitken arguing voters will be “sickened” by the “hypocrisy” on display.

He said: “Glasgow voters will be sickened by the hypocrisy on display by the SNP. They asked people to leave their cars at home during COP26.

“People took trains, buses and complied with extensive traffic management.

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Nicola Sturgeon

Ms Aitken with Nicola Sturgeon in 2017 (Image: Getty Images )

Susan Aitken

The revelations could be embarrassing ahead of council elections next month (Image: Getty Images )

“Now it transpires their council leader swanned about Glasgow in her limo throughout.”

Colin Smyth, Scottish Labour’s net-zero spokesman, said Ms Aitken was guilty of “blatant hypocrisy”.

Ms Aitken has previously been criticised for using taxis for journeys that could be made on foot or by public transport, including to a climate change event at Glasgow Central station last October.

A city council spokesman said Ms Aitken only used “low emission” vehicles when travelling by car during COP26. 

He said: “The leader of the council carried out more than 50 engagements across the city during COP26 and regularly travelled to and from these on the electric conference shuttle buses.

“When travelling by car, low and zero-emission hydrogen or electric cars from the council fleet were used.”

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