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Mayor Coleman's 'odious toad' comments 'totally outrageous'
MAYOR Brian Coleman's outburst, in which he called a fellow committee member "an odious toad" was “totally outrageous” and “appalling” according to the committee's chairman, Jennette Arnold.
Ms Arnold, Labour North East London Assembly member, was forced to publicly apologise to the business management and administration committee, public, press and anyone watching the webcast broadcast on the London Assembly's website, after Cllr Coleman's comments last Thursday at City Hall.
She said: “It was Mr Coleman at his worst in public, absolutely amazing. Constituents believe that we have a job to do and it was just so appalling that they should see this behaviour.”
Ms Arnold recognised that Cllr Coleman, who is also the Conservative Assembly Member (AM) for Barnet and Camden, was reacting to something said quietly by Labour AM for City and East John Biggs, calling the exchange between the two “an outrageous slanging match between the two members”.
However she said could not recall any inappropriate language from Mr Biggs, only Cllr Coleman.
She called on Barnet voters to “put a stop” to it.
“This is not the first time that we have seen this sort of behaviour from Mr Coleman.
“I really hope that his constiuents will reflect on his behaviour the next time he puts himself up for office.
“It's the people who can put a stop to Mr Coleman's behaviour in public life.”
Ms Arnold, who has already had a complaint from a voter, said she was not planning to make a formal complaint to the assembly as she felt constituents would not benefit from the time and money an inquiry would cost.
However she pointed out that voters could complain about a member's conduct through the London Assembly's website, www.london.gov.uk, where the full webcast of the meeting can also be seen.
She added that Cllr Coleman should know how to behave without being told.
“It's really in his hands and the hands of the people of Barnet who elected him.”
Mill Hill musician Roger Tichborne, who in recent months was branded an "obsessive poisonous individual" by Cllr Coleman in an email, has commented on the Mayor's recent outburst on the Times Series website.
Referring to the decision made by Barnet Council's standards sub-committee that Cllr Coleman breached its code of conduct but would face no further sanctions after the email incident, Mr Tichborne wrote: "I just hope the standards sub-committee are big enough to admit that they were wrong and should have banned him when they had the chance.
"The man is a disgrace to the borough of Barnet. He is the Mayor, is this any way to behave?"
Cllr Coleman has refused to comment. Mr Biggs has so far been unavailable.