The Hackney councillor responsible for climate change and the environment has rejected accusations he is a hypocrite for taking a large number of flights for holidays, which he boasted about on social media.
Mete Coban, a Labour councillor for Stoke Newington and Hackney Council’s cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, was accused in a story in the Sunday Telegraph of being a ‘climate hypocrite’ because he had racked up an estimated 40,000 air miles since his appointment to the role in 2021. But after responding, Coban faced further criticism on social media over his flights,
Coban said in a statement that as the Chief Executive of youth-led charity My Life My Say “travelling is an essential part” of fulfilling his duties.
Coban, who has 50,000 followers on Instagram, has used the platform not only for reinforcing his support of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and encouragement of the borough’s residents to be “walking, cycling and taking public transport” but also to share the photos of himself on holidays which appear seemingly leisurely, such as his “cheeky weekend in Miami”. Other images showed him holidaying Guatemala, Istanbul and Washington D.C.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Coban responded to the Telegraph story by pointing out that both prime minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron had both travelled to the Cop28 climate conference on private jets.
Coban also posted an Instagram Story video on December 2 adding that the allegations were “a load of nonsense”.
EastLondonlines approached Hackney Council for comment but the council said it had nothing to add to the statement from Coban.
Further disapproval towards the councillor followed on X after he responded to the criticisms. One user, @ShimanoSteve’s said: “Well you could certainly give Cameron & Sunak a run for their money on the Airmiles stakes”
Others called him “narcissistic” and saying that he “should lead by example.” One user @LaveenLadraham said : “It’s not “taking flights” it’s taking lots of flights while also supporting so called “environmental policies” like LTNS.”
Another user @issmith3 said : “Whilst many people in Hackney are breathing in toxic fumes due to being penned in thanks to the #LTN’s which people like Mete Coban support, he gets to get away for weekends with no regard for #ClimateCrisis. Duplicitous behaviour.”
Coban has not responded further to any of the comments.