THE outgoing Mayor of Barnet has branded the showing of a group of independent council candidates at Thursday's council elections as a “complete humiliation”.
Tory Councillor Brian Coleman, who is the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, also accused the Times Series of showing bias towards the Residents' Association of Barnet (RAB) group in its coverage.
RAB was formed ten weeks before the May 6 elections by a group of residents unhappy with some of Barnet Council's plans for the borough. They are an umbrella support group for independent candidates.
Last month Cllr Coleman was reported to police for a phone call he is alleged to haver made to RAB candidate Linda Edwards, in which he is accused of attacking her for standing for the group.
As the ward votes were announced on Friday he told the Times Series: “It's a complete humiliation. They were behind the Greens and Labour in most wards in fourth or fifth place.”
When asked why he was singling RAB out for criticism above other parties, including the BNP, he added: “It's because of the unfair coverage from the Times Series.
“I always maintained they were a minor pressure group but you portrayed them as a major party.
“They were unable to put up a full slate of councillors across the borough and they came fourth or fifth in the wards they did contest.”
RAB chairman Dorothy Badrick hit back at Cllr Coleman's claims, saying: “It's very obvious from both the national and local vote people have gone to where they feel safe.
“The national election has overshadowed the local election and it's a shame as local issues did not get more of an airing.
“When we consider we went from a standing start ten weeks ago to putting 14 candidates out who all polled a few hundred votes each there is really nothing to crow about.”
She stood in Golders Green ward and took 408 votes, more than any of the Green Party candidates, although the Conservatives held all three seats.
RAB fared best in East Barnet polling a combined 3,655 votes, putting them third ahead of the Lib Dems who gained 3,607 but 1,100 votes behind Labour in second.
Tory candidates Barry Evangeli, Robert Rams and Joanna Tambourides each gained more than 2,800 votes to take the three seats, while the two Green Party candidates took 848 votes.
The British National Party candidate Stephern Curry, their only representative in the borough, got 364 votes.
Mrs Edwards got 627 votes in the Edgware ward, which was held by the three incumbent Conservatives councillors.