Duels and dignity for Brian

First published in News

Can anyone stop Brian Coleman? He may have been sacked as Barnet Council's cabinet member for the environment, but he doesn't care. Why not?

Because he has become chairman of the London Assembly.

"I have all the attributes to become the most fabulous chairman. I've become the third-most important politician in London after the Mayor and the deputy mayor. I have a badge and a ribbon. I have everything I want," said the important one.

Mr Coleman's mission as London Assembly chairman, he said, is to: "Raise the profile of the assembly and give it some dignity."

Things did however not get off to the most dignified start for the new chairman, who got stuck in a City Hall lift for 20 minutes on his way down to be elected chairman.

"I've never been stuck in a lift before and it's not a comfortable experience," he said.

He is looking forward to locking egos with newly-re-elected Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

"What this means is that the Mayor's question time in the assembly becomes a duel between him and me," he said.

We asked a spokeswoman for the Mayor if Mr Livingstone's knees were knocking at the prospect. "I doubt it," she said.

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