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Councillor Brian Coleman 'doesn't give a toss' about Barnet Council punishments for members' code breaches
Controversial councillor Brian Coleman says he “doesn’t give a toss” whether he is punished for swearing at a father-of-two during a council meeting.
The disgraced former London Assembly member, who was expelled from the national Conservative Party earlier this year, compared being censured by Barnet Council to “being mauled by a dead sheep”, adding that the punishment is “meaningless”.
The former Barnet Mayor was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing in April of calling psychiatric nurse Paul Merchant a “tw*t” during a packed cabinet meeting in April 2012.
Councillor Coleman has appealed against the decision on the grounds it was made a year after the event and that his actions were judged on the members’ code of conduct in place at the time, which has since been replaced.
The appeal is due to be assessed at tonight’s full council meeting, at which members of the council will be asked to vote.
If he is unsuccessful, his punishment will amount to a reading of the breach in the chamber at the meeting.
Asked if he felt confident about his appeal this evening, Councillor Coleman told the Times Series: “I have no idea and I couldn’t give a toss what they decide. It is meaningless nonsense.
“These complaints are part of a concerted political campaign against me in the middle of an election. The code is out of date and I wasn’t allowed a lawyer at the hearing – even the Nazis allowed lawyers at their Volksgerichtstof (People's Court).”
Deputy leader of Barnet Council, Dan Thomas, admitted it was “unfortunate” the complaints against Mr Coleman were not dealt with more speedily.
But he reiterated his belief that the timing of the decision, as well as a change in the code of conduct, did not make the panel’s decision illegitimate.
Tonight’s full council meeting takes place at 7pm in Hendon Town Hall.