THE London Assembly member branded “an odious toad” by Barnet's Mayor Brian Coleman has criticised his behaviour.

City and East assembly member John Biggs said Cllr Coleman, who represents Barnet and Camden in the assembly had gone “over the top”.

He added: “It's not surprising, it's the sort of thing that Brian does all too often.”

Mr Biggs admitted that his comments had played a part in the outburst during a committee meeting in the London Assembly last month.

He said he was known for having colourful language at times and expected a robust debate was part of politics.

But he said that's Cllr Coleman's reaction was not acceptable in a public meeting.

“He is desperate to be quoted and he seems to think that being as controversial as possible he will raise his profile,” he said.

However Mr Biggs, who is 51 and grew up in Barnet, did not understand another comment which Cllr Coleman, 48, made where he said Mr Biggs had a chip on his shoulder because he had never got over his grammar school education.

He said he and Cllr Coleman had both attended Q E Boys School in Queen's Road, Barnet. The school had turned from being a grammar school to being a comprehensive by the time Cllr Coleman joined.

The London Assembly has 25 members, who earn £52,910 each per year.

Cllr Coleman picks up an extra £25,613 this year for his role as chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

The assembly said it was too early to say to confirm if it has received any complaints about the comments.