Brian Coleman: a look back at some of his most controversial moments

Brian Coleman: sacked from the council cabinet, suspended by the Conservative Party and now voted out

Brian Coleman: sacked from the council cabinet, suspended by the Conservative Party and now voted out

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

After Brian Coleman was ousted from his role as Totteridge councillor on Barnet Borough Council, the Times Series takes a look back at some of his most controversial moments.

Formerly a Totteridge councillor, he received 265 votes in May 22 election – which those present at the count pointed out was fewer than the number of his Twitter followers.

Mr Coleman disappeared from Allianz Park at around 3.30pm, and as the results were being announced he tweeted: “Enjoying cold drink in the comfort of my armchair listening to Tosca and toasting the end of Cornelius Administration. No wife can save it.”

Over the years, he has landed himself in hot water with various formal complaints against him.

He received a barrage of dissatisfaction after launching the cashless pay-by-phone parking system in 2010.

Mr Coleman set up the new meterless system in his role as parking portfolio holder, but critics said it discriminated against elderly and disabled drivers who do not have mobile phones or credit cards.

In May 2012, he was sacked from Barnet Council's cabinet at a Conservative Party meeting and removed from his post as cabinet member for environment after voters deserted the politician at the polls in the GLA elections.

When he was later booted out of his role as the chairman of the London Fire Authority, firefighters said they were “pleased to see the back of him”.

Months later, he sparked more outrage by describing people in the public gallery at a council meeting as “the sad, the mad and a couple of hags”.

The former GLA member was also hauled in front of the council’s standards committee following complaints about offensive e-mails.

He called Jewish Ron Cohen a “disloyal Israeli” and told Dr Charlotte Jago that “70 years ago, you would have been a member of the (Nazi) blackshirts”.

Cllr Coleman was found guilty of breaking the members’ code of conduct and forced to pen an apology.

In April 2013, he was found guilty of calling “psychiatric nurse Paul Merchant a “tw*t” during a packed cabinet meeting in April 2012.

But he then said he “doesn’t give a toss” about the punishment, and compared being censured by Barnet Council to “being mauled by a dead sheep”.

But in what was perhaps one of his most controversial moments, he was arrested for attacking Cafe Buzz owner Helen Michael in September 2012.

At the last minute, he entered a guilty plea and admitted to grabbing her breast after she filmed him parking illegally in a restricted loading bay.

Although initially confirming they would take no action against him, the Conservatives then took the decision to suspend him from the party.

He was then permanently expelled, with Tory leader Cllr Richard Cornelius saying he “embarrassed the whole of the Conservative party”.

He then came back to bite his former colleagues with an explosive online blog revealing some of the Conservative group members' darkest secrets.

In his blog, The King of Bling is Back, he gave most of the 37 councillors a roasting – revealing a “hushed up” drink driving ban for one member as well as labelling others “wet” and “sulkers”.

Ms Michael then started a defamation claim against him over an interview he gave to LBC Radio last June.

Mr Coleman also came under fire earlier this year after throwing away a laptop belonging to the authority.

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

And in April this year he sparked outrage on Twitter for his controversial comments on the death of Peaches Geldof.

He also tweeted a link to the Daily Telegraph’s obituary to the second daughter of Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates, and said: “Sad, but what was the point of her life? Hardly deserving of a long DT (Daily Telegraph) obit.”

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:09pm Fri 23 May 14

_Iffy_ says...

Rejoice ! Rejoice !

The late Enoch Powell recounted how when he came down stairs and picked up the morning paper the day after the February 1974 General Election( which he had opposed and refused to stand as a candidate in ) and saw that Ted Heath had failed to win he sang the Te Deum.I did exactly the same this evening when I glanced at the election results !

If I had the power I would be ordering that the Church bells in Barnet be rung in celebration of the relegation of Brian Coleman from any position of influence..

I know there will more than one Conservative adding a little Champagne to their orange juice over breakfast tomorrow morning at what seems like an end to the 15 year saga of being associated with the obnoxious little tw*t.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! The late Enoch Powell recounted how when he came down stairs and picked up the morning paper the day after the February 1974 General Election( which he had opposed and refused to stand as a candidate in ) and saw that Ted Heath had failed to win he sang the Te Deum.I did exactly the same this evening when I glanced at the election results ! If I had the power I would be ordering that the Church bells in Barnet be rung in celebration of the relegation of Brian Coleman from any position of influence.. I know there will more than one Conservative adding a little Champagne to their orange juice over breakfast tomorrow morning at what seems like an end to the 15 year saga of being associated with the obnoxious little tw*t. _Iffy_
  • Score: 26

11:27pm Fri 23 May 14

Xtrol568 says...

Barnet is a better place today with his passing
Barnet is a better place today with his passing Xtrol568
  • Score: 15

11:39pm Fri 23 May 14

Jimbokav1971 says...

Most people, (even those with significant character flaws), have redeeming qualities that still make them a useful part of society.

This man seemingly has absolutely no redeeming qualities at all to go with all of his negative one's. My only gripe with his eventual ousting, is that it took so long to achieve. Speaking about his exit, while the man himself caused much of his downfall, significant credit must go to the Barnet Bloggers who again and again brought his disgusting behaviour to a wider audiance.

Thank you.
Most people, (even those with significant character flaws), have redeeming qualities that still make them a useful part of society. This man seemingly has absolutely no redeeming qualities at all to go with all of his negative one's. My only gripe with his eventual ousting, is that it took so long to achieve. Speaking about his exit, while the man himself caused much of his downfall, significant credit must go to the Barnet Bloggers who again and again brought his disgusting behaviour to a wider audiance. Thank you. Jimbokav1971
  • Score: 25

12:59am Sat 24 May 14

Jon10 says...

He also tweeted tonight with less than complimentary comments about ex-Mayor, Councillor Rutter.
He also tweeted tonight with less than complimentary comments about ex-Mayor, Councillor Rutter. Jon10
  • Score: 4

6:39am Sat 24 May 14

gwennog says...

A wonderful day for Barnet. Why has Finchley Methodist Church not ousted him from his charity housing? Is it safe to have a convicted violent criminal in such close contact with women and children.
A wonderful day for Barnet. Why has Finchley Methodist Church not ousted him from his charity housing? Is it safe to have a convicted violent criminal in such close contact with women and children. gwennog
  • Score: 15

6:43am Sat 24 May 14

gwennog says...

What a wonderful and long overdue day for Barnet. Isn't it about time that Finchley Methodist Church ejected this convicted violent criminal from his charity housing? Vulnerable people and children should not be exposed to the presence of this odious toad of a creature.
What a wonderful and long overdue day for Barnet. Isn't it about time that Finchley Methodist Church ejected this convicted violent criminal from his charity housing? Vulnerable people and children should not be exposed to the presence of this odious toad of a creature. gwennog
  • Score: 17

2:07pm Sat 24 May 14

dawboy says...

I wish I could be charitable to Brian Coleman, but even charity has its limits! I can also only rejoice that this unpleasant self-serving sponger has at long last to go and find a real job. No doubt having to actually pay for anything will come as a cultural shock to BC, but I anticipate that he will have to get used to it.
My only thought is that I cannot imagine for the life of me who would be interested in employing this man, nor indeed what he is actually capable of doing that qualifies as an honest job?
I wish I could be charitable to Brian Coleman, but even charity has its limits! I can also only rejoice that this unpleasant self-serving sponger has at long last to go and find a real job. No doubt having to actually pay for anything will come as a cultural shock to BC, but I anticipate that he will have to get used to it. My only thought is that I cannot imagine for the life of me who would be interested in employing this man, nor indeed what he is actually capable of doing that qualifies as an honest job? dawboy
  • Score: 13

2:13pm Sat 24 May 14

You don't fool me says...

I didn't even read this article as I do not need to be reminded of the disgraceful acts carried out by the Criminal Coleman!
Like every other decent citizen of Barnet I rejoice in the departure of the Odious Toad.
I didn't even read this article as I do not need to be reminded of the disgraceful acts carried out by the Criminal Coleman! Like every other decent citizen of Barnet I rejoice in the departure of the Odious Toad. You don't fool me
  • Score: 13

9:56pm Sat 24 May 14

Andrew Haynes says...

It's good to see that the Totteridge voters have finally come to their senses.
It's good to see that the Totteridge voters have finally come to their senses. Andrew Haynes
  • Score: 6

11:09am Mon 26 May 14

exiledgeordie says...

Well done the people of Barnet, common sense has finally ruled and the "poor" excuse for a human being Coleman has been found out for what he really is.
Well done the people of Barnet, common sense has finally ruled and the "poor" excuse for a human being Coleman has been found out for what he really is. exiledgeordie
  • Score: 7

12:28pm Fri 6 Jun 14

The King Pin says...

I feel really sorry for Brian Coleman.

Given his often desperate public rants and irrational behaviour, it would not surprise me if he has some deep seated mental health issues and is in need of urgent psychiatric help.

Quite why anyone saw fit to elect such a mentally fragile person to a position of public office in the first place is completely beyond me though.

I hope he receives the medical help he clearly needs.
I feel really sorry for Brian Coleman. Given his often desperate public rants and irrational behaviour, it would not surprise me if he has some deep seated mental health issues and is in need of urgent psychiatric help. Quite why anyone saw fit to elect such a mentally fragile person to a position of public office in the first place is completely beyond me though. I hope he receives the medical help he clearly needs. The King Pin
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree