Brian Coleman Arrested On Suspicion Of Assault

Brian Coleman, former London Assembly member, scourge of firefighters and current Barnet councillor, was arrested on suspicion of assault yesterday.

The word on the street is that the altercation involved Helen Michael, the Finchley cafe-owner who was one of the people campaigning against Coleman during May’s election. Barnet business owners are extremely unhappy about parking changes which they say have badly affected their trade. Coleman was equally unhappy about their ‘Sack Brian’ campaign and was filmed shouting at shopkeepers demanding they take down posters. He eventually lost his Assembly seat to Andrew Dismore.

This hasn’t been a good year for Coleman. In March he was told to apologise to residents after saying one would have been a member of the Blackshirts in days gone by, and calling an Israeli “disloyal” to his country. Never one to take a dressing down lying down, instead of writing the apology Coleman appealed, which a judge refused last month. Coleman had 28 days within which to appeal that decision or apologise; those 28 days ran out this week.

As well as losing his Assembly seat and with it the role as head of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Brian lost his Barnet council cabinet position. Within a week his salary dropped from over £100,000 to £14,000 (though a £30k pay-off from City Hall will soften that blow a little).

None of this has dampened Coleman’s fire. Just last week he caused a furore after gleefully responding to heckles from members of the public watching a Barnet council meeting with “I know the sad, mad and a couple of old hags are in the gallery”, for which he refused to apologise. (Anyone sensing a theme?)

Coleman has been bailed to re-appear before the police in October. An already miserable year is turning even worse, but at least he has his blog to console himself with.

Photo by steve_w from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • Julia

    Actually the time period for appealing and making the apology ran out on 5 September, so quite some time ago.

    • http://londonist.com/ Rachel Holdsworth

      Thanks Julia. I was going by the Barnet Times article, which was published on 23 August. So if the time period ended on 5 September, does anyone know if that’s what the heckling at last week’s council meeting was about? On the video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiGOM0LbfdA you can clearly hear someone in the gallery shouting that they want an apology.

      • BethPH

        Was that about the ‘mad, bad and hags’ comment he made? The fact that Coleman has been allowed to remain a councillor despite his appalling behaviour towards residents and general attitude is a source of bafflement.

  • HoosierSands

    Who actually votes for this man?