Disgraced councillor Brian Coleman slipped out of the council chambers before members criticised the “persistent and unapologetic miscreant” for throwing away a laptop belonging to the authority.

A total of 53 Barnet Borough councillors voted in favour of censuring Cllr Coleman after hearing how he breached the members’ code of conduct by disposing of council property.

Speaking at last night’s full council meeting, council leader Councillor Richard Cornelius said: “It’s a very serious matter.

“This computer has been lost, destroyed, sold, who knows what and who knows what data’s on it as well.”

Cllr Brian Salinger also raised concern over data protection, questioning whether Cllr Coleman was “trying to hide” anything on the laptop.

He said: “Did the panel give any consideration to the implications for data protection, assuming as one must, that the computer included personal details relating to any case work that Cllr Coleman might have done.”

Cllr Coleman was permanently expelled from the Conservative party last year after he was convicted for assaulting cafe owner Helen Michael in North Finchley.

Cllr Salinger added:  “One misdemeanour might justify a slap across the wrists but there comes a point where anything short of suspension or removal from office altogether is the only way of dealing with persistent and unapologetic miscreants.”

Cllr Salinger also asked whether there are any further disciplinary matters involving Cllr Coleman, who will stand as an independent candidate for Totteridge in the May elections.