Tory councillor Brian Coleman – who takes a £120k salary from the public each year – has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after he told a constituent to “live in the real world” after she asked him for help and advice with her spiralling private rent costs.
She wrote this month to Mr Coleman, who is said to earn almost £120,000 a year, asking for help after her private landlord increased the rent for her home from £950 to £1,100. In an emotional email, unemployed Ms Osman told the Tory Assembly member that she was writing to him “out of desperation in hope that someone can offer some help and guidance”. Ms Osman told Mr Coleman that she wanted to avoid having to apply for a council house.
Mr Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, replied nine days later and suggested she turn to the private sector, saying: “There will never be enough council houses available.”
Ms Osman, who made clear she was living in private, rented accommodation, replied and said: “I am in complete shock by your lack of empathy and regard for my situation.”
One hour late Mr Coleman replied and said: “Lack of empathy?????? Councillors simply cannot conjure housing out of thin air and the private sector is your only option. That is a fact.
“I am afraid you have to live in the real world where the country has no money and residents will have to deal with their own issues rather than expecting ‘the system’ to sort their lives out. This correspondence is now closed.”