Senior Labour MP David Miliband believes Barnet's London Assembly member Brian Coleman has gone “out of his way” to anger voters.
The politician was speaking while visiting Hendon this morning to back his own party’s GLA candidate Andrew Dismore in the run up to the elections on May 3.
During a meeting at Mero Café in Queens Parade, Mr Miliband said the incumbent Conservative member was driving voters towards Labour.
The former foreign secretary also defended Mr Dismore from comments made by the Barnet cabinet member last week, when he accused the former Hendon MP of running a “nasty, sleazy campaign”.
Mr Miliband, brother of Labour leader Ed, told the Times Series: “Andrew is a lawyer - he can’t afford to run a sleazy campaign. He’s gone on facts and on record and nothing more.
“The assembly matters and he has got experience and ideas, while the incumbent member Brian Coleman has gone out of his way to annoy people.
“We think that anyone who has paid attention to the Dismore/Coleman campaign is going to do nothing but add votes to Labour.”
Mr Dismore lost out to current Hendon MP Matthew Offord at the last general election but Mr Miliband, who lives in Primrose Hill, believes voters want to see the Labour candidate back in politics.
He added: “There is a bit of buyer’s remorse for the new Tory MP and people are beginning to wonder why they voted him in – this is going to be a very important area.
“Barnet is a battle ground - how Barnet votes is how London votes and how London goes is often how the country goes.”
The Labour members, along with Barnet’s group leader Councillor Alison Moore, chatted with staff at the coffee shop before leaving for campaign duties at the party’s Finchley headquarters.
Mr Dismore said: “David’s opinions are so important and valuable – it is great to have him along. It gives us a real boost.
“Some people have suggested I just need to go around wearing a T-shirt saying ‘I’m not Brian Coleman’ but that is a bit negative and we have a lot of positives to offer. I have demonstrated that I
have done the things people want to see.”