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Conservative Barnet Council member Brian Coleman pens apology for 'Nazi blackshirt 'email
It is more than seven weeks late but Tory councillor Brian Coleman has reportedly penned an apology to members of the public he labelled “Nazi blackshirts” and “disloyal Israelis”.
The Totteridge representative was ordered by a standards tribunal to say sorry to Charlotte Jago and Ron Cohen following the email outbursts earlier this year.
Councillor Coleman initially refused, saying he was “under no obligation” to do so, and he subsequently missed the apology deadline of September 6.
But following talks with Barnet Council leader Richard Cornelius earlier this month, the former Barnet Mayor appears to have finally put together a note of contrition.
Dr Jago and father-of-three Mr Cohen both say they are yet to receive the letters but a council officer told them he understood they were in the post.
Former GLA member Cllr Coleman was hauled in front of the council’s standards committee in March following complaints about the offensive emails.
In the correspondence, he called Jewish Mr Cohen a “disloyal Israeli” and told Dr Jago that “70 years ago you would have been a member of the (Nazi) blackshirts”.
The former cabinet member was found guilty of breaking the members’ code of conduct, a decision upheld at an appeal hearing in August.
Speaking about how she felt after receiving the abusive correspondence, Dr Jago said last month: “Being likened to a Nazi was incredibly upsetting - the more so because a number of my grandparents' German Jewish friends were murdered by the Nazis, so to liken me to that was horrific.
“Being called anti-Israeli when in fact I support the existence of a Jewish homeland - who could not support that, knowing what the Jews have endured throughout history? - was inaccurate as well as very hurtful.”