Boris ally under investigation over “verbal abuse” allegations

April 26, 2012 2:20 pm

Brian Coleman is a man who is rarely out of the limelight. Regular readers may remember the £120k a year councillor telling a single mum to “live in the real world”. As well as being a Barnet councillor, Coleman is also a member of the London Assembly (and faces the electorate next week).

He’s also an ally of the Tory London Mayor – and serves as Boris Johnson’s fire chief.

Now Coleman has found himself in hot water again, following allegations that he swore at a member of the public during a public meeting. The Barnet Times reports:

“The Conservative politician allegedly called psychiatric nurse Paul Merchant a “tw*t” before telling the Friern Barnet resident to “clear off” in front of a packed Hendon Town Hall.”

This is the second time in just over a week Coleman has been placed under investigation – Political Scrapbook reported last week that Coleman will be questioned over “allegedly misusing his councillor’s parking permit to avoid fees that he introduced”.

Labour’s Andrew Dismore requires a swing of only 5.5% to take the London Assembly seat from Coleman next week

  • Bill Lockhart

    Actually, this story is at least 2 months old. No matter. Coleman is a thoroughly odious  little man. His regime at Barnet has been characterised by bullying arrogance, financial irregularities and misrule by cabal. He brings local “democracy” into disrepute by his every word and action. He is a right-wing mirror image of  Derek Hatton.

     I sincerely wish Andrew Dismore well. Sadly we live just over the Barnet/Camden border so my vote can’t help as far as defenestrating Coleman is concerned.

  • charles.ward

    Surely we cannot judge whether this was approriate without finding out if Mr Merchant was, or was not, acting like a tw*t.

    I’m fed up of spineless polititians of all parties sucking up to members of the public who ask stupid questions or act like idiots.

    Politicians should be able to have a robust debate with the public.  When a member of the public just shouts at them and doesn’t engage in a reasoned argument then a politician should be able to tell them they don’t know what they are talking about.

    I’m not just saying this because Coleman is a Tory, I was delighted when Precott punched that guy who through an egg at him.

    There should be nothing wrong with a politician calling a member of the public a “tw*t” if they are acting like a tw*t.

    • Bill Lockhart

       Publically using obscenities to a stranger seems to me to be likely to be” behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace”. It certainly would be if the person uttering it was a protester in an anti-government demo speaking to a cop in riot gear.

      I have been a member of a group peacefully and legally protesting a Barnet planning stitch-up, at an organised demonstration with police co-operation. In the council chamber,  Coleman subsequently described us ( mainly middle-class, polite, well-behaved, with many children in willing attendance)  as “a rabble”. His is a world populated by his cronies (few) and his enemies (everyone else).  He’s nothing but a thug, the Bill Sikes of the Tory underworld.

  • Ian Stewart

    Bill, we can all help in our little way –


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