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Barnet Mayor Brian Coleman in 'you are an odious toad' row
MAYOR of Barnet Brian Coleman has been criticised for calling a fellow politician an “odious toad” during a London Assembly meeting.
The outburst at the London Assembly's business management and administration committee caused chairman Jennette Arnold, north east assembly member to adjourn the meeting, saying the comments were “not acceptable”.
Other members also rebuked him in City Hall's committee room five on Thursday.
One called Cllr Coleman “lazy, pompous and rude”.
Cllr Coleman suddenly erupted during an otherwise sedate discussion about a staff pay award.
Addressing Labour AM for City and East John Biggs, and Ms Arnold, he said: “Oh shut up you odious toad, you go too far.
He added: “How dare you. You are the nastiest most odious little man who is unfortunate enough to serve in public life.”
Ms Arnold adjourned the meeting, which was being webcast and has been uploaded to YouTube. Cameras were switched off, but microphones left on, which revealed a further exchange.
Cllr Coleman can be heard to say to one member: “You are the most odious man with the biggest chip on his shoulder, must be the grammar school education, you've never got over that.”
A Times Series online poll called for Cllr Coleman, 48, who is ward councillor for Totteridge, Barnet and Camden AM and also chair of the London Fire Authority, to resign as Barnet Mayor after he was found to have breached the council's code of conduct in September.
The council's standards sub-committee ruled he “failed to treat others with respect” after he branded Mill Hill musician Roger Tichborne “an obsessive poisonous individual” in an email about his blog, the Barnet Eye.
He has also been criticised by former mayor Ken Livingstone for his taxi expenses.
In 2008 while he was deputy leader of the assembly he ran up £4,147 in cab fares, including one for £660, after he asked the driver to leave the clock running and wait for him while he attended a meeting.
He refused to comment today, saying he did not talk to the Barnet & Potters Bar Times.
To watch the full webcast from the meeting visit www.london.gov.uk